“Cleverly constructed and elegantly written. It’s both an engaging human story and a place for wider topical observations. Bring on Spring.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is her second novel of the quartet that involve the four seasons. You do not need to read Autumn first as Winter is a stand alone story.
This book is the Story of Sophie Cleves, a widowed mother who lives alone in her large home. She has basically become a recluse.
She is estranged from her only sister Iris. Her son Alec, who writes a blog about nature,is supposed to be coming for the Christmas holiday with his girlfriend Charlotte, but they have recently had a very bad breakup, so Alec, not wanting to face his mother alone, meets a new girl named Lux and convinces her to come not only in Charlottes place, but actually pretend to be Charlotte.
Over the Christmas holiday Iris shows up unexpectedly so the four will spend the holiday together. This forms the basic plot of the book. The interaction amongst the four people, their stories sometime told in flashback, carries the entire weight of the book, and I have to say, for me it just didn’t work out. I found the story slow, and frankly, I never really connected with any of the characters to have a rooting interest in the story. While once again the prose is terrific, and at times funny, I felt it was a major disappointment after enjoying Autumn. The author once again deals with the politics of Brexit, but also with the Trump Administration in her story, so this alone tells us how recently she had finished this book.
I’m sure many of you may appreciate this book more than I did, but sorry to say I just can’t recommend it to the casual reader.
Added 7th March 2018