2000 Thomas Dunne Books
Finished on January 4, 2022
Rating: 5/5 (Excellent)
For millions of readers around the world, a new Rosamunde Pilcher novel is a cause for celebration. Her clear-eyed and sharply observed stories have captivated readers for a generation, and with Winter Solstice she proves herself to be at the height of her powers by creating people and places so real, we feel we have known them for years.
The December solstice is a turning point. For some it represents a time of darkness, the shortest day of the year. But for others this events--just a few days before Christmas--is about hope, renewal, and rebirth. In a story both deceptively simple and effortlessly complex, Rosamunde Pilcher brings together five very different people, ranging in age from the teens to the mid-sixties, each of whom must confront very different challenges or losses.
When Elfrida Phipps abandons London for a quaint country village, she settles in quickly. She has a tiny cottage, her faithful dog, Horace, and the friendship of good neighbors, Oscar, Gloria, and their little girl. Perhaps, at last, she can exorcise the pain of the past and find peace.
But it is not to be.
Tragedy upsets Elfrida's newfound tranquility, and she takes refuge in a rambling house in the north of Scotland called Corrydale. Almost like a magnet, Corrydale attracts various waifs and strays, each of them escaping difficult personal pasts. As the holidays approach and the weather turns foul, the scene seems set as a perfect recipe for disaster.
But somehow the group proves to be greater than the sum of its ill-suited parts, and as the solstice passes and Christmas approaches, the healing power of love, even on the most troubled human spirit, begins to work its magic.
Once again, Rosamunde Pilcher reminds us all that friendship, compassion, loyalty, and love can come together and renew us all--even when the days seem darkest.
Oh, what a wonderful book. When Diane (Bibliophile By the Sea) first mentioned that she was going to listen to the audiobook in December, I considered reading it as well, but I was in the middle of another novel and didn't give Winter Solstice another thought, especially since it's one I'd already read. Well, I finished the aforementioned book on December 21st and took that as a sign to begin Pilcher's novel on the winter solstice. I was a little distracted with our holiday preparations, so it took me a few chapters to finally get interested in the story. However, once I acquainted myself with the cast of characters, I couldn't stop reading. As I mentioned, this is one that I've previously read, but I don't know when that was and I've yet to locate that journal entry. When I do, I will be sure to link back to this review for comparison.
I have read several books by Rosamunde Pilcher, the first of which was The Shell Seekers, which I absolutely adored. I have always intended to read it again, but worried that it might not be as enjoyable as the first time I read it. Having now reread Winter Solstice, I should not let that concern me. I believe Pilcher's novels are marvelous comfort reads, which stand the test of time. I loved this book!