Every once in a while a very special story comes along that deserves an enormous cozy chair with a view of rolling hills, a fire snapping quietly in the hearth, a cup of real cocoa in a favorite mug, and a plate of homemade cookies.A Week in Winter is such a tale.
Moorgate is an enchanting old country house that belongs to Maudie Todhunter, a spirited widow who has been holding on to the place for the sake of her beloved granddaughter. But Maudie can no longer afford a second home, so she reluctantly puts it up for sale.
Moorgate immediately attracts more buyers than Maudie knows what to do with. The first is Selina, her stepdaughter, who has never seen eye-to-eye with Maudie on anything. The second potential buyer is Rob Abbot, a contractor who has lovingly restored every nook and cranny and who is embarrassed by his own passionate devotion to the house. The third is Melissa Clayton, a young woman with a sad, sad secret who discovers at Moorgate all she's ever wanted.
As the story weaves between the past and present, Maudie is startled to uncover patterns of deceit and betrayal that contradict all her most cherished beliefs. At times it seems that her most trustworthy companion is her granddaughter's giant English mastiff Polonius, who is boarding with Maudie after having been banished from his own home by an irate Selina.
As the final revelations stun both Maudie and the reader, A Week in Winter achieves a combined richness of character and circumstance that raises it above most modern contemporary fiction. Marcia Willett is a writer to discover and to celebrate.
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Thomas Dunne Books
February 01, 2003
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Excerpt from A Week in Winter by Marcia Willett
Maudie Tod hunter poured herself some coffee, sliced the top neatly from her egg, and settled herself to look at her letters. A rather promising selection lay aside her plate this morning: a satisfyingly bulky package from the Scotch House, a blue square envelope beaing her stepgr and daughter's spiky writing, and a more businesslike missive stamped with an estate agent's logo--which she placed at the bottom of the pile. She slit open Posy's card with the butter knife and propped it against the marmalade before plunging her spoon into the rich golden yok of her boiled egg...