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231
4.5 out of 5 stars
Winter Solstice
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2000
This was my first time with Rosamund Pilcher and I thoroughly enjoyed it all beit a little heavy to hold in bed! I think her writing is so descriptive, you can see, taste and feel everything she describes. I did not want to put this book down from the very first page. Elfrida, a charming if slightly eccentric past actress of little repute charms you with her eccentricity and her warmth. Heading for Scotland with her sad bereaved friend Oscar they set up house together. You can sense the togetherness of these two without any descriptive sex! and Pilcher introduces her ecclectic characters with delightful ease. I recommend this book to any avid reader of fiction.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2002
Rosamunde Pilcher has a warm, compassionate and inspired triumph in Winter Solstice! From the first page, you are transported from everyday life to the small village where Elfrida and Oscar meet...to Gloria's exhuberant dinner parties...to the tranquil lifestyle at Jeffrey's and Serena's cliffside cottage on the blustery coast....and ultimately to the wonderful old estate house at Creagan. Winding your way through this tragic, yet heartwarming story of faith and courage, of loneliness-and-sorrow-turned-to-love, you will meet and become enchanted with the perfectly chosen settings and with the characters and the direction their individual and collective lives are taking. The readers who found this book "predictable" or "dull" leave me puzzled. There is sufficient flash, dash and excitement in the world today to render a book like Winter Solstice a breath of fresh air...and an excellent read...by the fire, by the beach, or on a mountaintop. This will be a personal favorite for a long time to come. Just one question...on my paperback copy, there is a beautiful picture of three delicate pink crocuses freshly sprung from the snow...it fits the story so well that I'm wondering why the cover on the newer edition was changed. No matter, what awaits the reader inside is a literary delight for the gentlehearted, and perhaps a much-needed change of pace for those who are not.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2000
I thought the previous reviewers' verdicts rather harsh. I enjoyed "Winter Solstice" and I didn't find it THAT predictable. Carrie and Sam, both having been hurt before, were understandably wary of each other, and teenager Lucy's future could have developed in a number of different ways. The relationship between Elfrida and Oscar probably demanded the greatest suspension of disbelief, but I found the way the varied characters interacted and the wealth of household details very satisfying.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2012
Absolutely the most perfect winter read.
Am fairly new to Rosamund Pilcher having only read The Shell Seekers (which I also loved!).
Winter Solstice is an absolute must for the winter evenings.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2005
I was in the UK the day that this book was first offered for sale in August 2000. I sent copies home to friends and to myself. It is a favorite book since the hero and heroine are not in their 30's. I am now re-reading it since it is that time of the year again and I always enjoy it. It is a wonderful story of friendship, new-found "family", love and the kindness of others. Since I have a Scottish lineage, the location is particularly enticing. The descriptions of people and places allows the reader to be part of the story, if only in wishful thinking. The reader is there. What a great way to spend time reading. Rosamund Pilcher is one of my favorite authors that I can read over again. Wonderful story!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2011
I feel a bit guilty about criticising this book - it feels like trashing a much-loved and still stylish grandma for being past her best.
Rosamunde Pilcher is a good, old fashioned storyteller, and her stories are about families coming to terms with crises. The families aren't always related, and the crises are wide ranging, from war and sudden bereavement to moving house and going away to school. If you like a big family saga to fall into then they don't come any better than her two bestsellers, The Shell Seekers and Coming Home. I've read them over and over again. Escapist in the best possible sense, well written, great stories and scene setting, wonderful characters, impossible to put down. And, though I don't want to get all ageist, I'd say they're books for grown-ups, and a welcome relief from all the chick-lit sex and shopping sagas we get nowadays.
This is her last novel and I wouldn't say it's a book too far, but it's not in the same league as her earlier work. The characters aren't as likeable or as interesting, the relationships aren't as credible, the plot isn't as gripping - and all the loose ends are tied up so neatly at the end, it would make even Maeve Binchy blush! For the first time, I found the tone a little out of date, and even rather snobbish.
But for all that, it's a still a good read and I quite enjoyed it. Even at her worst, it's better than a lot of the more fashionable stuff that gets published these days. I'll miss her books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2010
This is a typical Rosamunde Pilcher book which I found myself engrossed in and couldn't wait to get back to reading about all the characters who take the lead in varying chapters throughout the book. Yes, it is a light read but that is what I enjoy rather than a serious challenge! The only criticism I have is the mix up between anti-freeze and de-icer in one chapter when the windscreen of the car was iced up - oh dear where was the proof reader?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2009
I have really enjoyed Rosamunde Pilceher's books in the past and was looking forward to reading this one. On the whole I did enjoy the book, and I do love a happy ending. The descriptive detail is very good and Pilcher conveys mood well and I was even moved to tears in one or two parts.

However, the characters aren't very well developed and some not that likeable either and some of the elements of the story just seem so incredulous that, even well written, spoilt the enjoyment for me.

Oscar comes across as an incredibly weak and whiney character to me and both his and Elfrida's attitude towards Major Bilicliffe is both without compassion or warmth. This seems to be at odds with the book's sentimental message of love, caring, kindness and kinship. Even the Major's death appears an inconvenience for them, and their attitude changed only a little when the poor man bequeathed them his home. How has Oscar managed to go through life without accruing anything in the way of possessions or savings? He appears penniless although lived a cossetted life-style with a wife he showed little affection for and within what seems a matter of days after her death is sharing his bed with another woman. Other people seem to make all of his decisions and I can't imagine him and Elfrida lasting till the next winter solstice!

The language is rather stiff, a bit Enid Blyton-ish and I found the story line of Lucy highly improbable.

On the whole though, it's well written, and a "nice", inoffensive book but I think there are other Rosamunde Pilcher books out there that knock spots off this one, such as The Shell Seekers. There's just no comparison.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2013
I have not read Rosamunde Pilcher book before but because I enjoyed a dramatised version of the The Shell Seekers and the reviews were so good I thought I would try one. It will certainly be my last. The plot is contrived and predictable, reading it is like painting by numbers! The characters I found totally unsympathetic and mostly unpleasant. There is a snobbish thread which runs all the way through and the repetition is boring. Frankly I found the behaviour of the adults involved with a 14 year old disgraceful in places. There are some very lovely descriptive passages of scenery weather nature etc and because of these only I gave it 2 stars instead of only 1. I would not recommend it to anyone I know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2014
I re-read this book after many years, over this period of awful winter weather (Xmas 2013), with the wind howling outside and the rain pouring down in torrents. "Winter Solstice" was the perfect antidote, set as it is in deep mid-winter in the far North of Scotland. Perhaps not as complex a book as "The Shell Seekers" or "Coming Home"-the author's best books in my opinion, but the characters are all very believable, and the story flows along at a good pace, with a very happy ending. Perhaps Rosalind Pilcher should attempt a sequel; it would be interesting to find out what has happened to Lucy and Rory, and how the two "pensioners" are rattling along in their cottage.
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