My book club meets tomorrow and I am giving the review. I chose Maeve Binchy’s new novel, A WEEK IN WINTER.
I have read nearly all of her books and they follow a pattern, a wonderful pattern that always works.
Like all of Maeve Binchy’s novels, everyone who came in contact with the Stone House gets a chapter of their own. Binchy piques the reader’s interest in each guest that comes to the B & B on a winter vacation. Minor characters becoming major as Binchy uses the behaviors and attitudes of the characters to create conflicts between traditional and contemporary Irish culture. A WEEK IN WINTER confirms that problems are solved by making decisions. All the characters who vacation there become changed and empowered. She has a talent for making the rural landscape a character in her stories.Her descriptions of the countryside help set the mood for the story.
How does a writer take such everyday characters and occurrences and make the reader care enough about them to continue reading. The enthusiasms and experiences of the group at the inn draw us in. Some make a strong first impression, others take a while for the reader to get to know.
Sadly, Maeve Binchy died in July of last year, 2012 just after she finished A WEEK IN WINTER. I hope I can learn just a tiny bit from the way she writes.