Publisher: St. Martins; First Printing edition (2001)
Any reader who has ever fallen in love with a house will understand the attraction of Moorgate, a light-and-fresh-air-filled old farmhouse on the edge of the moor in Cornwall. The enchanting house now belongs to seventy-something Maudie Todhunter, the late Lord Todhunter's free-spirited second wife. (The first wife, Hilda, was supposedly a paragon of virtue, and Maudie has always felt second-best.) The light of Maudie's life is her vivacious stepgranddaughter, Posy, who begs Maudie to board a giant English mastiff whom Posy's mean-spirited mother has banned from the house. (The large and ungainly Polonius is an impossibly lovable canine who outshines Lassie by a mile and is destined to become a favorite of readers worldwide.)
When Maudie decides to sell Moorgate, all kinds of old family secrets come to light, and so the saga begins. Along the way, Rob, the contractor of Moorhouse, falls in love with a woman who has a sad secret. Posy's father falls in love with someone kinder than his shrewish wife. Maudie must reevaluate someone she'd fallen in love with years ago. And as the connections intertwine between the past and the present, many unexpected alliances form.
Vivid, lushly written, and entirely unforgettable, this all-absorbing novel provides the kind of abundant reading experience that will leave readers eagerly looking forward to more from this newly discovered and superbly talented author. A Week in Winter achieves a combined richness of character and circumstance that raises it above most modern contemporary fiction, and Marcia Willett is a writer to discover and to celebrate.
Here are my thoughts:
I will attribute to Marcia Willett my being much more readily opened to reading contemporary novels! An avid and almost exclusive reader of historical novels, I found her novels so enticing I'll admit it is hard to put them down and thus so far, I am reading longer in the night if that's possible!
My second novel by this author, A Week in Winter ( First novel also reviewed here was 'Christmas In Cornwall') and by no means, the last one!
It has been a year since Lady Maudie Todhunter lost Hector, her husband of 30 years +. Now in her seventies, she is adjusting to her new life largely invaded by Polonius, a mastiff in need of love and acceptance perhaps just as much as she is.
(English Mastiff - I imagine very much looking like Polonius!)
Listing Moorgate the old farm house is not easy but must be done as finances demands it in so far, she has yet to figure out what happened to her late husband's portfolio.
However Maudie Todhunter could never imagine what this listing's announcement entails and soon family secrets as well as a passionate love story emerges in the upheaval.
With unmistakable flair, Marcia Willett introduces us to a multi faceted cast of characters and as always a beautiful setting! Located in the West Country, Moorgate's renovation is plainly a labour of love for Rob, the young contractor Maudie has hired.
If all goes according to plans, Maudie hopes to have enough money after the sale to tidy herself up and cover university costs for her step grand daughter Posy.
Despite the years, Posy's mother, Maudie's youngest step daughter, never re conciliated herself to her father marrying within a year of her mother's death. Maudie was the complete opposite of Hilda's perfection and thus found herself the object of a deep jealousy. It didn't help that Hector her father was obviously head over heels in love with his new wife.
Married to long suffering Patrick, Selina has selfishly never wavered from her fierce opposition and alienates most of her family. She has not set foot in Moorgate in 15 years but insists Maudie has no right to sell it and demands an equal opportunity to purchase the old farm house.
With equal measures of filial love and unforgettable passion, 'A Week In Winter' reminds us to appreciate all that surrounds us and live for the moment!
Destined to be appreciated by animal lovers, Polonius' antics will delight readers as 'A Week In Winter' reveals a love story to be enjoyed by romantics everywhere!
I give it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Born in Somerset, in the west country of England, on the day the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Marcia Willett was the youngest of five girls. Her family was unconventional and musical, but Marcia chose to train as a ballet dancer. Unfortunately her body did not develop with the classical proportions demanded by the Royal Ballet, so she studied to be a ballet teacher.
Her first husband was a naval officer in the submarine service, with whom she had a son, Charles, now married and training to be a clergyman. Her second husband, Rodney, himself a writer and broadcaster, encouraged Marcia to write novels. She has published several novels in England; A Week in Winter is the first to be published in the United States.
Vist her website (HERE) for more information! Be sure to visit her husband's blog, writer Rodney Willett (HERE) for regular updates.
Note to Readers: This review was NOT requested and therefore reflects ONLY my opinion!