Sunday, January 20, 2013

BOOK: A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy, 369 pages

Ireland Reading Challenge

When Maeve Binchy died last July, I was so disappointed that there would be no more books as she is one of my favorite, most reliable authors.  So I was very pleased to learn of this last novel of hers, A Week in Winter. It is classic Binchy - an eclectic collection of characters all connected to the same event, in this case, the opening of Stone House on the west coast of Ireland. Each character, from the owner of the remodelled house, the caretaker, the cook, and each of the first week guests gets a full back story. Sometimes these back stories flew through the years at such a rapid pace that I was getting dizzy, but on the other hand, she didn't balloon her book to over 700 pages, ahem, Mr King.

The first time I read Evening Class by Binchy it was this style of novel, almost connected short stories, that revolved around an Italian class in Dublin. Binchy follows the same model here and she does it so well. Her characters are real, with flaws, and not everything always works out for everyone. I think her underlying philosophy has to do with attitude - people with positive attitudes generally have things work out for them, cranky people are always cranky no matter what happens. Having a good outlook on life, and what life hands you, is the key. I think Ms Binchy had a wonderful philosophy and it has made her books wonderful escapes for many years.
thank you, and your faithful readers will miss you.