A Week in Winter is my first Maeve Binchy fiction read. Binchy died in 2013, and this was one of her final books. There is another one coming out in 2014, so unless she had several books written and squirreled away, these will be her final novels. I read her non-fiction book on writing a couple of years ago which I found interesting.
My friend, Bridget, is a big Binchy fan. This one had good reviews online, and Bridget also enjoyed it. I’m always up for new reads, so I gave it a whirl.
The story centers around a run down estate in West Ireland. A group of prior town residents come back home for various reasons and become involved in restoring the house and grounds to turn it into a hotel. The characters in the story are those that return to convert the home and the visitors during the first week the hotel opens.
It took me several weeks to get through this one. Yes, my busy life was part of the reason, but I also never found myself hooked early on. Each character has a self-titled chapter. The chapter covers many years, thus the chapters are lengthy, and the chapter contains other characters completely unrelated to the story. So I was often distracted during this read, and wasn’t sure which character I was supposed to be rooting for. Some of the character back story was interesting; some of it, to me at least, was useless. The ending left me doing a head scratch, “Uh….okayyy.” It didn’t feel like there was a real conclusion to the story other than a vague “and they all lived happily ever after” ending.
The scenery descriptions were probably my favorite parts. Those were done well.
Anyway, this one wasn’t to my particular taste. Overall, it’s an easy read. G rated. Given the reviews, way more folks have enjoyed it way more than I did.