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A Week in Winter Hardcover – 8 Nov 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; Hardback edition (8 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140911399X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409113997
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.4 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (737 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the IRISH TIMES. Her first novel, LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, including TARA ROAD. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012.

Product Description


A book to treasure. It's classic Maeve Binchy territory, filled with characteristic warmth and captivating storytelling (HELLO)

The final novel by late Irish author Maeve Binchy is out now. Set in a country house hotel on the West coast of Ireland it's full of her trademark warmth, humour and lovable characters. (WOMAN)

It's vintage Binchy and doesn't disappoint (WOMAN & HOME)

Binchy's compassion and warmth are undimmed to the very end. Over her long career as a novelist she tackled many serious issues with with the compassion, intelligence and wit that anyone who ever read her wonderful journalism would expect. ... All the characters in A Week in Winter are struggling - with traumatic memories, with isolation, with regret. Yet Binchy guides her creations through their troubles with a firm and kind hand, leaving them ready for a happier future. Maybe that's why so many readers loved her so much. That and the fact that she always knew how to tell a very good story. (IRISH TIMES)

It is no exaggeration to say that Maeve and her books were loved. Deservedly so. A Week in Winter is shot through with her trademark charm ... here is an author who had a zest for life' (BELFAST TELEGRAPH)

In the final novel from the Irish legend, we meet the motley holidaymakers of Stone House hotel, each nursing their secrets or sadness during a winter break. The plot is almost irrelevant though; what matters is the warmth and charm of Binchy's storytelling. (SUNDAY EXPRESS)

This is a book designed to be read in a dark January chill; it begs for a fireside and the sound of wind and rain howling outside. ... Binchy died this year after a prolific career that began in 1982 and during which she wrote more than 20 books, all of them bestsellers. If you haven't come across her before, you've got a real treat in store. (THE LADY)

Book Description

A brand new book from No.1 bestselling author Maeve Binchy.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Smurfy on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that Maeve Binchy is without question my favourite author. I was devastated when she died and the one consolation was that a new book was waiting. Maybe because I wanted it to be the most fitting swansong possible my expectations were too high, but I regret to say I was a little disappointed by 'A Week in Winter'. I'd love nothing more than to give it a glowing review - I genuinely want to love it - but there was just something missing compared to her other books. Others reviews have criticised the format (several strands interlinked rather than one cohesive 'story'), but I don't think that's the problem; Maeve Binchy has used that technique several times before and often to great effect. It's more that, while there are several likeable characters in the book, there isn't really one I could say I loved. Chicky Starr comes the closest, but she doesn't have the indefinable quality of a Benny Hogan, Cathy Scarlet or Clare O'Brien; that something that draws you in entirely and makes you genuinely sad when her story ends. It's also shorter than it could have been, with the ending feeling a little rushed and a key plot point never resolved.

I should emphasise that 'A Week in Winter' is far from bad - below par Binchy is better than most authors on top form. I might have given it four stars had anyone else written it. But it's hard not to judge an author on their track record, and I simply can't see myself re-reading this time and time again in the way I have 'Circle of Friends' and 'Light a Penny Candle'. Binchy fans should definitely still read this, but if you're new to her work, I'd recommend trying one of the other titles I mention first.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
A Week In Winter is the 17th novel by popular Irish author, Maeve Binchy, and was completed days before she died. It is the story of an old family home (Stone House) on the West coast of Ireland, which is turned into a hotel where guests find a warm welcome and the peace to face their troubles. Binchy's strength is her characters and their interactions, and she gives a potted history of the crew (Queenie Sheedy, Chicky Starr, Chicky's niece Orla, Chicky's friend Nuala's son, Rigger and his young wife, Carmel ) and the cast of guests (nursing sister Winnie and her formidable prospective mother-in-law, Lillian, American actor, Corry Salinas, doctors Henry and Nicola, Swedish accountant Anders Almkvist, competition aficionados, Ann and Charlie Wall, retired headmistress, Miss Howe and librarian, Freda) as she weaves their stories together. Along the way, Binchy gives beloved characters from many previous novels a small cameo or a mention, a device that always delights fans, who come to think of her books as a comfort, like a favourite pullover and a warm cuppa. These novels have that distinctly Irish feel and one can almost hear the Irish lilt in the dialogue. Binchy's characters always have plenty of depth and appeal, and face real life problems and dilemmas. But for Binchy's death, this could easily have become a series along the lines of Macomber's Rose Harbour. Wonderful, as always.
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Amanda TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When Chicky meets an American man named Walter and falls in love she finds herself leaving her beloved Ireland to be with him in New York. However her marriage fails and Chicky returns home where circumstances prevailing she opens up a hotel.
I have enjoyed many of the novels written by the late Maeve Binchy, but if I am being honest I have to say that in my opinion it was not as good as some of her other books. On saying that it was an easy and comfortable read full of likeable characters that are very much the trademark of this popular author.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By hickeydick on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Took a little while to get into - but didn't want it to end
(especially as its her last book)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
Written with the humor and understanding that are trademarks of her writing, Maeve Binchy's final tome A WEEK IN WINTER takes the reader to the west coast of Ireland where a woman named Chicky Starr has returned to her hometown of Stoneybridge and begins to restore an old, decaying mansion and turn it into an inn where folks can come to escape the problems and hustle-bustle of their everyday lives. Once again she has populated her story with a large cast of often endearing, sometimes quirky and always beautifully developed characters that are a joy to get to know. The inn, Stone House, serves as the meeting place for this diverse group of players and even minor characters are an important part of these inter-related stories. Doctors, a psychic, a frustrated musician, a retired headmistress, a couple whose main occupation is entering and winning contests, and of course the bad boy with the heart of gold are just a few of the folks who populate the pages of this enchanting tale.

I have loved Maeve Binchy's books for years. Her gentle, charming tales illustrate the attitudes, ambitions and relationships of her characters while exploring the effects of contemporary and traditional Irish customs and lifestyles on the folks who inhabit and visit her windswept Emerald Isle. Reading her books gives one the warm, cozy feeling felt when visiting an old friend. So snuggle up with the warm beverage of your choice and settle in for A WEEK IN WINTER, another pleasant visit to the time-honored, vivid and definitely unforgettable Binchy style.
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