Winter Solstice

By Rosamunde Pilcher

Retired London stage actress Elfrida Phipps never anticipated going off with a man, but after a devastating tragedy, Oscar Blundell asks for her companionship. Joining them at a Victorian house in Scotland are a broken hearted young woman, a teenage runaway, and a stranger who arrives during a snowstorm.

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I really, really wanted to like this book. I picked it as our bookclub’s Christmas read. I thought it would be a quick, cozy, feel-good read.

Well. It was all those things except it wasn’t a quick read. 500 pages of which about half was completely unneeded. The description on the back of the group of people getting snowed in during the Winter Solstice? Doesn’t even happy until the middle of the book. Read: we’re 250 pages in and the book is just starting to get to the point.

It doesn’t help that my least favorite character, Elfrida, starts off the book with a seventy page run of what’s going on with her.

Lucy was my favorite, but there was not enough Lucy for my taste. Sam or Carrie either. I also liked poor Francesca.

The other main item that bugged me was how the book treated relationships. Many characters cast off marriage to pursue other relationships, even pursuing other married people or the recently widowed. I’m not a marriage hard-liner by any means, but geez there was nothing at all sacred about marriage or relationships in this book.

There were way too many secondary characters taking up space in this book, too.

What I did like was the descriptions of the English and Scottish countrysides, the houses, and the snow. Oh, and all the Britishcisms.

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