A week in winter appears to be literature about an Irish national who opens a boarding house with the help of her mentor. The jacket blurb left me a little confused about the book’s actual content. It is written by Maeve Binchy.
WHY I PICKED IT UP
I saw it on the NY Times bestseller list. Ever since I, Libertine I occasionally police it to see if the books deserve to be best sellers.
WHERE/WHY I STOPPED
I finished the sample, which ends just as the main character is confiding her family problems to her mentor. I found it interesting but not compelling. It was well written and amusing but sort of middle of the road. I was never bored, but I was never thrilled either.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER, IF ANYTHING
I find it difficult to come up with constructive criticism. Binchy does an admirable job creating interest and promising plot points later on. I suppose there could have been more dialogue, as the sample consists of little more than narration, but the narration never feels overwrought. I actually lends the air of a fairy tale, wherein few lines are usually spoken. The only drawback to this approach is the limitation it places on how close your readers can get to your characters.
I don’t plan to continue reading this book (it’s not really my genre), but it is well written enough to warrant interest and worth a look if you’re into serious fiction.