A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy
I finally had to read this book. I've been hoarding it, knowing there are no more coming, but it was our November book club selection so I couldn't hoard it any longer.
Maeve Binchy was a genius storyteller. In this book she tells the stories of 10 different major characters and a few minor ones to boot. The amazing thing to me is how she could write about each person for only a few pages and yet leave you feeling you've known the person your whole life. I don't know what her secret was, but I'm going to miss it a lot.
The setting for "A Week in Winter" is an old house on the coast of Ireland that is being remodeled into a guest house by a young woman who has been away for a few years but has now come home to stay. The characters we meet all end up at "Stone House" together as guests the week it opens. The gathering doesn't come until toward the end of the book and is more the culmination of the story than anything. The real stories are those told in the time leading up to that point about how their lives intertwine bringing them all to the the same place at the same time.
I can't say it enough: I loved it. I love this author and will miss all the books that might have been. I'll console myself with re-reads and I'm grateful to have them, but still so sad that Maeve Binchy is no longer with us. She gave the world not just good stories and warm characters, but such comfort, and hope in every book she wrote.
Here's to Maeve Binchy - may she rest in peace.