Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

Title: A Week in Winter
Author: Maeve Binchy
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Orion
Publish Date: October 11, 2012
Source: Library

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're looking for a cozy read.
  • You're looking for memorable characters.
What's the Story?:

From "Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the sea, everyone thinks she is crazy. Helped by Rigger (a bad boy turned good who is handy around the house) and Orla, her niece (a whiz at business), Chicky is finally ready to welcome the first guests to Stone House’s big warm kitchen, log fires, and understated elegant bedrooms. John, the American movie star, thinks he has arrived incognito; Winnie and Lillian are forced into taking a holiday together; Nicola and Henry, husband and wife, have been shaken by seeing too much death practicing medicine; Anders hates his father’s business, but has a real talent for music; Miss Nell Howe, a retired schoolteacher, criticizes everything and leaves a day early, much to everyone’s relief; the Walls are disappointed to have won this second-prize holiday in a contest where first prize was Paris; and Freda, the librarian, is afraid of her own psychic visions."

My Two Cents:

Maeve Binchy has always been one of my go-to authors when I need a good comfort read. Her books are always filled with memorable characters, good story lines, and sheer coziness. Ms. Binchy unfortunately passed away last year so "A Week in Winter" is the very last one of her books that will ever be released and thus it was with a heavy heart that I listened to the audiobook version of this book as I knew there would be no more new books in the future! This book was definitely a good swan song for Ms. Binchy!

As with so many of Binchy's books, this book focused on several different characters that were all tied together. In this story, they were tied together by a remote house on the harsh coast of a remote part of Ireland, which I am ready to move to in a heartbeat. Guys, this setting is wonderful. Even though the environment seems like it would be pretty harsh in the winter, it seems like it would be an amazing place to just stay and contemplate life for awhile. The descriptions of the setting are amazing. There are cliffs and crashing waves and peace, glorious peace.

The characters in the book are definitely memorable. One thing that has been consistent for me in all of Binchy's books that I've read (there's very few that I have not read) is that the characters feel like people that you could actually meet. They feel real. Usually books with big casts don't work for me because I feel like I get really confused about who's who. The reason that her big casts work with me is that she weaves in all sorts of detail so you really feel like you get to know who each character is as well as what their motivations are.

Fans of Binchy's previous works will enjoy this book!



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