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A Week in Winter eBook by Maeve Binchy

Click Here to Download the Book 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.

Reviews I was a little afraid to read this book because sometimes the last book before an author's death can be a little sad, a little unfinished, a little lacking. That is not the case in this book. It's like Binchey waved a magic wand and sprinkled a writer's fairy dust on it while she wrote. I thought her last few ones had been a little weak but this one makes up for those. Binchey likes to intertwine characters from other novels into the new ones but this one is relatively sparse of connections. The characters eat at Quinns and there is some mention of the heart clinic but this is, basically, a clean slate of people to meet and enjoy. Chicky Starr returns to Western Ireland after a 20 year stay in New York. She buys an old neighbor manor house and restores it to its original elegance and converts it into a holiday place for those whose spirits need rejuvenating. She adds a small group of helpers whose lives are changed in the renovation. The old spinster who owned the house is swept along and enjoys the time of her life. A young boy headed for delinquency has his life changed. When the guests arrive for the opening, they too have problems that need resolution. And in the peace and quiet of Stone House, find the resolution they need. As the waves crash on the shore, people reevaluate their lives and allow a little pixie dust to create small miracles. Binchey's stories were my introduction to Ireland. I always wanted to find these little towns where people loved their land and were so welcoming. These towns had people who were so interesting that you felt like you could walk into their houses, sit down and have a conversation. They were so real. It was Binchey's genius that she made the setting and the people so realistic that you felt like you could reach out and touch them. If you liked Binchey's writing, you will like this book. It is a fitting finale for a woman who has brought so much reading pleasure to me. I will miss her.

A week in Winter is Maeve Binchy's last book before she passed away in July 2012. This book is a classic and worth number 5 position in the top 10 list brought out by Dymocks. The story is set in Ireland and revolves around the various characters that visit Stone House which is a hotel for a week of rest and relaxation. Chicky is the first character that we are introduced to and it tells of her persuade for love and a good life. Rigger is the second character that we are introduced to and we are told of his hard upbringing and persuade to find peace away from all the bad influences in his life. John is another character who is trying to escape from his famous lifestyle and wants to be anonymous for a change. There are various other characters but I will not mention as I want the reader to discover themselves the joy of each new character. All the characters are unforgettable and you will discover something wonderful about life through each character.

Reading Maeve Binchy has always felt like coming home to a huge, warm hug --ever since I read Echoes when I


was 11. Over the past several years, Maeve Binchy's latest books have been good, because anything is good in her trademark style and voice, but they weren't great. They weren't her earlier sagas and they read, quite frankly, slightly hasty. As though Maeve wasn't as interested in spending a lot of time developing seriously deep characters. That said, I'd buy anything she wrote. Her passing in summer 2012 was very sad. So it was bittersweet to pick up her last book--like saying goodbye to a friend, even though I plan to re-read her books for the rest of my life. I expected A Week in Winter to match her latest in style and lightness, but this one surprised me. It's certainly jumpy--told in multiple POVs, but this holds some tricks as well, namely the one where the reader gets to guess at the future happiness for characters without actually seeing it. This I liked. And the one character in particular (spoiler alert), Nell, is the first I've read who doesn't get a happy ending. And it worked because we still learned something from her--and more importantly, the other characters who reacted to her learned something. That was what made this great. Plus, it was just fabulous reading. I couldn't put it down. Farewell, Maeve. You've been a friend to me since I was a kid.

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