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A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

A Week in Winter (edition 2012)

by Maeve Binchy

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7325412,784 (3.68)53
Title:A Week in Winter
Authors:Maeve Binchy
Info:Orion Publishing (2012), Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Ireland, linked novellas

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A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

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Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
The book has Binchy's traditional warmth and sleepy Irish community, which I always enjoy. And I loved the idea behind the little bed and breakfast and how it helped the people who went to it, but there was just that extra spark that seemed to be missing from it.

While the book is a novel, it does feel more like a bunch of interconnected short stories, or novellas, than a novel, which I've seen Binchy do before in her previous books. They did mention, briefly the other characters in each section, but sometimes, you wanted to know a little more about each one. I did like the different perspectives each character had on the others, sometimes certain characters appeared more friendly or harsher when they had their cameos in other's stories. But, each story, was just short of being finished, and a lot more was left open. Perhaps the intention of the book was to have some of these characters to make appearances in later books, which sadly won't happen if that is the case, but I didn't like that much being left open ended.

As usual, I love her writing, and the characters. They are all well rounded and create a very wonderful community, you almost want to jump down to Ireland and experience the bread and breakfast for yourself.

Overall, it was a good read, but not my favourite of the author.

Also found on my book review blog Jules' Book Reviews - A Week in Winter ( )
  bookwormjules | Feb 8, 2015 |
When I've read too many gruesome mysteries, or too many books that have left me really questioning the goodness of human nature, I turn to a Maeve Binchy to renew my love of sitting down with a good book. Think of it like a bowl of chocolate ice cream after an unusually difficult day. Her simple Irish novels are always character driven and the characters are people you can imagine meeting in your own life, not to mention, there is never a sociopath in the group. A Week in Winter is more a collection of related short stories, all based around a small bed and breakfast overlooking the ocean in a small Irish town. People are coming to the resort to relax, have an adventure, or get away from their lives. Not all the stories have that happily-ever-after resolution, but they are well told and make me pause and think about people I know and aspects of my own life. I'm sad that Maeve Binchy died in 2012 and that this is one of her last books. ( )
  jmoncton | Jan 10, 2015 |
I needed a cozy winter read and this hit the spot. The story takes place in Stonybridge, a quiet coastal town in Ireland. We dive right in with the story of Chicky, a young woman who is swept off her feet and follows her love to America. Years later she returns to Stonybridge to turn an old home into a hotel. The house belongs to Miss Queenie, an elderly woman whose two spinster sisters have passed away. Chicky’s story starts the book, but each chapter introduces the reader to a new person’s life.

There’s Rigger, a troubled youth who ends up in Stonybridge to escape his mistakes. He leaves behind his mom, Nuala and his uncle Nasey, and a lot of hard feelings. We meet Winnie and watch as she falls in love but struggles to get along with her boyfriend’s difficult mother. There’s a fussy school principal, an American movie star who needs a rest, two English doctors, a young woman with a talent for seeing the future, and a kitten named Gloria.

Binchy weaves the stories together in such a beautiful way. She layers one character on top of another, each one adding depth to the novel as a whole. Not every person gets a happy ending, but each story is one that I loved living in for a chapter.

BOTTOM LINE: By the end of the novel I wanted to call Stone House and book a weeklong stay with Chicky and the gang. It’s heartbreaking that this was the last new Binchy novel I will ever read. I hate that there are no more characters for me to discover but I’m so glad her final work was a perfect example of her ability to create a world that feels both familiar and brand new at the same time. ( )
  bookworm12 | Dec 22, 2014 |
I am clearly in a nostalgic mood - this is another old favorite author! Maeve Binchy is one of my very favorite!!! Her books are filled with the day to day life of everyday people. Her writing elevates their lives to simple poetry. I know - that sounds a little ridiculously flowery - but she brings it out in me!

This book did not disappoint! Chicky Starr is content to live her life out in the small Irish community of Stonybridge until a smiling yank sweeps her off her feet and carries her across the ocean to New York City. When that romance fades she can not tell her family what has happened - so she remains in New York creating a story of her life. Over the years she settles in a boarding house and learns the trade and perfects her story - returning home now and again but maintaining the facade. When her favorite niece is ready to come to NY to see the glamorous life her aunt is leading Chicky makes a fateful decision - her husband is suddenly killed in a car accident and she decides to return home. But - what will she do? Refurbish an old genteel house on the coast and turn it in to a small hotel.

And that is where the story begins. Sort of. Binchy has a great way of layering different perspectives on top on one another. As Chicky's story ends it is time to tell Rigger's story - the wayward son of Chicky's best friend. And this story takes us a bit closer to the week in winter when Stone House will open. Then it is Orla, Chicky's favorite niece's story. And finally it is the stories of the guests who arrive that very first week in winter. Each arriving with their own lives of passion and boredom and intrigue and quiet. Each a bit apprehensive, a bit concerned, a bit frazzled, and a bit overwhelmed at the healing sounds the ocean waves create.

Not all the stories end happily - or even end. Rather this feels like we have all been invited on a memorable week vacation - and it is time for us to pick up our own lives again.

I LOVE Binchy!!! Read this one!! ( )
  kebets | Nov 1, 2014 |
A group of troubled people, book a week away in a bed and breakfast on the coast of Ireland where they find comfort and come to terms with their problems. ( )
  amanaceerdh | Oct 20, 2014 |
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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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