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The Winter House

The Winter House [Kindle Edition]

Nicci Gerrard
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 7.99
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Product Description


"Beautifully read" The Oldie

Product Description

When Marnie receives a phone call that summons her to the side of a once-beloved friend, she is wrenched from her orderly London life and sent back into a past from which she has fled but never escaped.

Ralph, Marnie and Oliver once knew each other well and are still inextricably bound by ties of love and betrayal. Now they meet again in Ralph's secluded cottage in the Scottish highlands, to spend the precious days that Ralph has left with each other.

As they reminisce, Marnie is taken back to the summer years ago when everything changed between them and heartbreak and desire broke up their little group. Will Ralph have the chance to say what needs to be said before it's too late? And can they put the devastating events of twenty years ago to rest and rekindle the intimacy they once shared?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2712 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Dec 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002ZJSU5Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,760 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Winter Read 5 Jan 2010
By Mrs. Katharine Kirby TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Winter House by Nicci Gerrard

This latest book by one half of the Nicci French partnership is surely most suitable reading for a cold winter's day. The cover alone promises much - I felt drawn to the little house in the deep blue picture and enjoyed feeling that I would relate to the story.

In many ways the theme of The Winter House is the long lasting effects of childhood relationships; those which exert the strongest of pull on our adult selves. There is something completely solid and grounded about these building blocks of our lives. Nicci Gerrard certainly understands the importance of those intuitive and sometimes inexplicable aversions, attractions and loyalties.

In the conversation at the back of the book the author explains that there were times when writing The Winter House that she felt suddenly stranded. And that.: "Indeed halfway through I stopped for several months". Alas this is clear in parts of her writing and the reader may experience the same emotion. For this reason the book is not entirely satisfactory. NG asks a lot of her reader and sometimes I felt bogged down with it all and wondered whether it would be worth finishing.

Only three characters really speak, Ralph who lies dying in his lonely northern home, attended by his old friend Oliver who calls in Marnie to help them over this lingering leave taking. However Emma, Marnie's mother is in the background and it was her that I felt was the most interesting and rewarding. She came across as wise and accepting of fate, unselfish and an extraordinary parent.

There are wonderful descriptive passages of the days of snow and isolation. Huge chunks of the book are set in the past and you move from then to the present day.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A paean to love in all its manifestations 2 Jan 2010
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Firstly, this is very different from the psychological thrillers written under the Nicci French name. Marnie is 40 when she receives a phone call from Oliver to say that their mutual friend, the mercurial Ralph, is dying. Having not seen each other for twenty years, her journey to Scotland is also a journey into their shared past and the ties that both bind them and separate them.

This is an emotionally-intense book that manages to deal with big and difficult subjects - adolescence, love, death - without ever descending into the sentimental or maudlin. The characters are well-drawn and avoid many of the usual clichés: they're not all glamorous or beautiful, in fact they're rather geeky and all the more interesting for it. Also rather than concentrating on the university years, this introduces the main characters as children and follows an unobvious path.

At its heart, this is a story about love: not just romantic, passionate love but also the love between a mother and daughter, and between friends both male and female. This isn't a plot-driven book, instead it's an intimate, detailed, sometimes painful, always tender evocation of inner lives. The deserted cottage in wintry Scotland becomes almost a character in the book and is a fine setting for the unearthing of the human heart.

Beautifully written, moving and controlled - highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Winter House is the beguiling story of a woman summoned to confront the trappings of her youthful past, a complex quadrangle of tangled relations, which have long been buried but never forgotten. With a wisdom beyond its pages it is a novel that makes you explore you own half-forgotten friendships and relationships; whether consciously of subconsciously you cannot help but relate to Marnie's circumstances by placing a question mark against people, choices and events from your own past.

When Marnie receives a phone call out of the blue from old friend Oliver Fenton, he his summoning her to a small cottage in remote Scotland where their friend Ralph is dying. There was a time when these three, and Lucy (a fourth) were all very close and inseparable friends. But that all came to an abrupt end years ago and Marnie hasn't been in touch with the boys since. Can they all put past events behind them and transport themselves back to their youth, to give Ralph the peace, the strength and love he needs at the end? Much has happened in their lives since their youth, but will the bonds of friendship still be strong enough to see through their differences now?

It is a very warm and poignant novel, more about relationships and emotions than about events. The main characters are real, immediate, - very well portrayed. In just a couple of places I think the writing loses it's thread, with the theme of 'home' and 'homesickness' being ever so slightly over-played as well, but on the whole it's a novel I can recommend for its originality, kind heart, warmth and good story telling, and only the hardest of hearts will fail to be moved by this story of loss, love and friendship.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read 27 Jan 2010
By Mel Q
Just finished this book and can't get it out of my head. Beautifully and sensitively written, didn't want to put it down. Recommend it highly. A truly touching book.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written 22 Dec 2009
The Winter House is a moving story of three friends/lovers reunited under tragic circumstances. Beautifully written, Gerrard has really caught the atmosphere of both the location and situation. I felt as if I was in the room watching the three friends as they look back over their past and learn to accept the future. Different from Gerrard's other novels but, in my opinion, much better. Highly recommend you read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad and engaging
A tale of life and love and how friendships change or remain the same. I found myself wanting a happy ending for the characters. A good read
Published 3 months ago by Kaffmatt
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner
As usual with this writer there was good characterisation and a strong sense of atmosphere. Once I had got into it this book really kept my attention and I had to read on. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Norah Barnacle
5.0 out of 5 stars Winter House
Winter House by Nicci Gerrard
Great alternative to her usual style and just as engrossing as the thrillers. Couldn't put it down until I reached the end. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mary Lewis
3.0 out of 5 stars Holiday read, maybe.
Quite well-written, good description of scenery. The characters seemed hazy, the main characters don't come to life and the lesser ones are stereo-types. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ann perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it very much
So pleased to have found Nicci Gerard's books I find them a very easy read and enjoy a good page turner which she gives a reader
Published 10 months ago by izzey2
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant!
A wonderful read, best book I've read in ages. I've read several Nicci French books and am a big fan - I enjoyed this even more. It moved me deeply.
Published 13 months ago by Deborah Onley
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read!
A rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish!
A story of 4 friends who seem inseparable as children, and the changes that adulthood can do to such relationships! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Hannah Turnbull
5.0 out of 5 stars The Winter House
Heart breaking . . . X
Probably touching many hearts, who ve loved and lost.
Tears and heart ache throughout X
Published 14 months ago by debra marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars The winter house
Probably the most poignant book I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. So emotional , written with so much feeling. Read more
Published 15 months ago by k.hardie
3.0 out of 5 stars Average
I found this book to be quite slow and at times boring. For a book so slow I would expect the quality of writing to be much higher. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ms. K. D. Chadha
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