If you enjoy reading Maeve Binchy, this author is for you. Marcia Willett tells a great story about families and their relationships. The setting for this book appears to be southern UK, Cornwall and the Moors. Loved the story enough to acquire more of Ms. Willett's books.
Maudie Todhunter is the elderly protagonist and her story of life newly-widowed is told while two subplots of young love interweave with her story. The novel focuses on a wonderful English farmhouse called Moorgate which stands at the entrance to the English moors. What transpires in that house during one very special week sends ripples through the lives of a host of richly textured characters. From Maudie's granddaughter Posy, the house renovator Rob Abbott, the desperately ill Melissa and her brother Mike, to the estranged Selina and Patrick, everyone is touched forever by the event that occurs at Moorgate. A long-held secret of deceit and betrayal comes to light in a surprise ending that leaves the reader satisfied yet longing to stay just a bit longer with these wonderful characters and the enchanting Moorgate.
A WEEK IN WINTER is truly a book to curl up with in your favorite deeply-cushioned chair while keeping your tea and chocolate close at hand.
Over the objections of her spiteful daughter-in-law and despite her own sentimental misgivings, the sharp-witted, tweed-wearing widow Maudie Todhunter is selling the remote Cornish farmhouse left to her by her husband, Patrick. In A Week in Winter, her first book to be published in the U.S., British author Marcia Willett explores the competing claims of love, memory, and duty. Maudie knows that her beloved granddaughter Posy would have liked to inherit Moorgate. But she is surprised to learn who else wants the old house and what secrets unfold as she puts Moorgate on the market. What makes A Week in Winter a "women's" novel (and may narrow its appeal) is its slow development--nothing is rushed here--and a tendency to linger in the moment, savoring emotional nuances and fine points of plot and character. At best, this makes the novel a smooth and leisurely read, but it can also bring the action to a crawl. To compensate, Willett provides some mysterious clues that lend a Gothic aura to an otherwise straightforward tale of giving up a much-prized object in the hope that something better will arrive. (Amazon)
I had this book in my TBR pile for something like nine years! So I was so happy to be reading it for a potluck in my book club, The Reading Cove!
It started off with the promise of being a cozy, comparable to the style of Rosamunde Pilcher or Maeve Binchy, but I didn't like the use of flashbacks for telling most of the story. I find it too distracting when the narrative halts to recall the past.
Selina's hatred of Maudie felt too contrived under the circumstances; ditto for Melissa and Rob's relationship. Other revelations were revealed so late in the story, it didn't really matter much, and the neat bow-tie wrap up of everything didn't work for me.
I did enjoy the author's insight into pride and insecurity, and how they can rule (and ruin) relationships. That was shown very well. But by the end, there was too much sap for plausibility. Overall, I'm just glad to have finally read it after all the time it's been waiting!
I was looking for Maeve Binchy's last book, "A Week in Winter" when I came across this authors' book by the same name. I loved it! I even ordered a second copy sent to my sister who is miles away. A wonderful story of day to day living and a special house that seems to bring loving & longing to all who enter.