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A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
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A Week in Winter (edition 2012)

by Maeve Binchy

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910769,662 (3.73)73
Member:thefirstalicat
Title:A Week in Winter
Authors:Maeve Binchy
Info:Orion Publishing (2012), Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Ireland, linked novellas

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A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

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Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
A Week in Winter, Maeve Binchy's last novel, is a charming and familiar blend of colorful characters, set in a country house hotel on the west coast of Ireland. It proceeds to tell the stories of its staff and guests. First we meeting Geraldine “Chicky” Ryan who fell in love with the wrong man and makes up a story for her family when she returns years later. She decides to purchase a historic house in Stonybridge, her home town, and turn it into a small and quiet hotel. She spends quite a bit of time preparing the house but she knows she's going to need friends and family to help her make it a success. Once we read the stories about Chicky and her close friends, we start those of the guests who have come to stay during the opening weekend.

I love the way Maeve Binchy writes and she succeeded in making me interested in every chapter and the characters it featured. She finished this book shortly before her death in 2012 and probably didn't have the time to edit it herself. I never felt there was a connection to an overarching storyline and it never coalesced as a novel for me. All the guests eventually leave knowing more about themselves. While not my favorite Binchy, it was a lovely journey and an enjoyable read. I'm sad that she is no longer with us but she left dozens of wonderful books to remember her by. ( )
1 vote Olivermagnus | Jul 7, 2016 |
Read for a group - I believe it's my first Binchy but probably won't be my last. I do love character-driven stories... but this took that about as far as it could go, as there's hardly anything besides character vignettes.

But that's ok. These are good people, doing their best to make their own way, and to share joy with neighbors and friends new & old, against the kinds of ordinary challenges we all face. Not a werewolf, BEM, murderer, or pedophile in sight - thank you M. Binchy. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Book Description
Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know each other. 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), Stone House is finally ready to welcome its first guests to the big warm kitchen, log fires, and understated elegant bedrooms. Laugh and cry with this unlikely group as they share their secrets and—maybe—even see some of their dreams come true. Full of Maeve’s trademark warmth and humor, once again, she embraces us with her grand storytelling.

My Review
I always enjoy a Maeve Binchy novel. Her characters are well-developed and very interesting. This was a heart-warming tale and does not disappoint. As this was Maeve Binchy's swan song, I will sorely miss her humour and entertaining novels. Looking forward to reading a couple more of her books in the near future. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 2016 |
Frankly, I was somewhat confused by this book. There was a different chapter for each of the people working in Stonehouse, and a chapter for each of the people who visited it inn its first week open. No one's stories had entirely satisfying ends. The author tried to fix this by having Freda predict for them exactly what they wanted to hear. Miss Nell Howe's chapter was particularly confusing. Told partly from the point of view of Rigger's uncle's future wife, Irene. It was revealed that Irene's nephew was actually her son, and he'd figured this out when he was nine, but never asked Irene about why she hadn't told him until she chose to reveal it to him. The rest of the chapter was from Chicky's point of view, and we found out why Miss Howe was so unpleasant, but she left before the end of the book, so we didn't even get the false sense of completion we got for the other characters. Rigger was my favorite character, he was the most interesting, and the one who straightened his life out the best, but after his chapter he was barely in the book.

I did enjoy most of the book, and the characters, but I was also frustrated by their morality. Many of them slept around, and Chickie lied for a great deal of her life, a situation that was never resolved, as she never told any of her family the truth. Freda's psychic powers were confusing, and abruptly introduced, when there had been no indication of magic or voodoo anywhere else in the book.

it wasn't a bad book, but it really wasn't a good book either. ( )
  NicoleSch | Jun 1, 2016 |
Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always a pleasure to read, this one included. I always feel as if I am right there in Ireland enjoying the land & people. ( )
  Erika.D | Jan 28, 2016 |
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Maeve Binchyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Becciu, Ana MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
The Sheedy sisters had lived in Stone House for as long as anyone could remember. Set high on the cliffs on the west coast of Ireland, overlooking the windswept Atlantic ocean, it was falling into disrepair - until one woman, with a past she needed to forget, breathed new life into the place. Now a hotel, with a big, warm kitchen and log fires, it provides a welcome few can resist. Winnie is generally able to make the best of things, until she finds herself on the holiday from hell. John arrived on an impulse after he missed a flight at Shannon. And then there's Henry and Nicola, burdened with a terrible secret, who are hoping the break at Stone House will help them find a way to face the future ...A WEEK IN WINTER is full of Maeve's trademark warmth, humour and characters you want to spend time with.
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Follows the efforts of Chicky who, with the help of Rigger (a bad boy turned good who is handy around the place) and her niece Orla (a whiz at business), turns a coastal Ireland mansion into a holiday resort and receives an assortment of first guests who throughout the course of a week share laughter and the heartache of respective challenges. John, the American movie star thinks he has arrived incognito; Winnie and Lillian, forced into taking a holiday together; Nuala and Henry, husband and wife , both doctors who have been shaken by seeing too much death; Anders, the Swedish boy, hates his father's business, but has a real talent for music; Miss Nell Howe, a retired school teacher, who criticizes everything and leaves a day early, much to everyone's relief; the Walls who have entered in 200 contests (and won everything from a microwave oven to velvet curtains, including the week at Stone House); and Freda , the psychic who is afraid of her own visions.… (more)

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