Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

My 2 cents:

The second best thing about listening to an audio tape of a book set near Dublin, Ireland is that you can hear Ireland in the reader's voice. The best thing is the book itself, A Week in Winter, by Maeve Binchy. Beloved Irish author Binchy died in December 2012 at age 72. This, her last book, is wonderful. Read by Rosalyn Landor, it makes you want to sink into a cozy chair by a warm fire, then jump up and walk on the beach to see the waves and the birds. Which is exactly what the characters in A Week in Winter do.

Binchy weaves a tale of an 18th century stone mansion called Stone House, renovated by an unlikely crew of Irish folks, who form a sort-of family, reminiscent of Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. Located by the sea in western Ireland, Stone House attracts an even more unlikely group of guests in its first week of operation; including an American movie star, an Irish accountant and musician, a nurse and her disapproving, future mother-in-law, two doctors (married to each other), a librarian, a retired school headmistress, and an English couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

The advantage of listening to Binchy's story on CD is hearing the Irish lilt bring the characters and place to life. Also, there's learning the correct pronunciation of words like row (for small fight, rhymes with pow, wow and cow), tousled, wizened and duvet.
Turns out I've been mispronouncing those little buggers all my life.

Length: 11 hours (Unabridged, on 9 cds)

Worth Your Time? Yes. And, thank you, Maeve Binchy.

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