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Extended Audio Sample A Week in Winter Audiobook, by Maeve Binchy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,448 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maeve Binchy Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9780307713698
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Set in Stoneybridge, a small town on the western coast of Ireland where no neighbor is a stranger, Chicky Starr has found the perfect spot, grand and high on a cliff, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for her bed and breakfast. Everyone in town thinks she's lost it, for her location is a dilapidated mansion, and seems unlikely to be a peaceful setting for a sea side holiday.

Assisted by Rigger and Orla, her handy neighbor and business savvy niece, Chicky remodels the place to welcome her first houseguests. Yet with an unlikely cast of characters, what is supposed to be a relaxing holiday for a motley crew of new arrivals, could become a topsy turvy tailspin.

Marked with the particular wit and warm tone of author Maeve Binchy, this final novel, written just before her death, will embrace her fans once again with her charming, Irish flair for a good yarn.

Maeve Binchy, born in 1940, was a novelist, a writer of short stories, a columnist, and a playwright. She is renowned for her good humor in relating the small town idiosyncrasies of Ireland, for her empathy, and for her clever twists in storytelling. She was Ireland's favorite writer at the time of her death in 2012. She has been featured on the New York Times best seller list as well as Oprah's Book Club. Honored for her "total absence of malice" and for her generosity to other writers, when she passed away, thousands of readers worldwide mourned her death and celebrated her life and contribution to literary arts.

Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the sea, everyone thinks she is crazy. Helped by Rigger (a bad boy turned good who is handy around the house) and Orla, her niece (a whiz at business), Chicky is finally ready to welcome the first guests to Stone House’s big warm kitchen, log fires, and understated elegant bedrooms. John, the American movie star, thinks he has arrived incognito; Winnie and Lillian are forced into taking a holiday together; Nicola and Henry, husband and wife, have been shaken by seeing too much death practicing medicine; Anders hates his father’s business, but has a real talent for music; Miss Nell Howe, a retired schoolteacher, criticizes everything and leaves a day early, much to everyone’s relief; the Walls are disappointed to have won this second-prize holiday in a contest where first prize was Paris; and Freda, the librarian, is afraid of her own psychic visions.

Sharing a week with this unlikely cast of characters is pure joy, full of Maeve’s trademark warmth and humor. Once again, she embraces us with her grand storytelling.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Fittingly, this posthumously published work by Ireland’s beloved lady of letters is itself a love letter to her homeland. . . Binchy offers a final chance to enjoy her winning characters and the charm of Irish culture. . . Reading this novel is like ducking out of a cold rain into a fire-warmed pub filled with laughter. People
  • Lovely. . . Tailor-made for an afternoon jaunt through the backcountry of western Ireland. . . Binchy’s last novel radiates the warmth and charm that fans of the late Irish author will recognize and relish. . . . [her] prose is conversational, comfortable and populated with a cast of colorful characters that run the gamut from droll to dry. . . a delightful diversion. Mary Cadden, USA Today
  • A hopeful, loving novel chronicling lives shaped by good deeds, small favors, and honest counsel along the rocky crags of the Irish coast. Fans of Binchy and newcomers to her work alike should consider themselves fortunate to have been left such a clear-eyed and open-hearted final gift. The Daily Beast
     
  • A Week in Winter goes perfectly with a cup of tea. . . . a gratifying, blustery read full of rich characters, a sea-spray setting and a compelling plot that carries the reader from start to end. . . . Binchy has created a book that envelops its reader in the same calming serenity that Stone House provides its inhabitants. Shelly Walston, The Wichita Eagle
  • A treat as rich as a box of chocolates. aarp.org
  • The late great Binchy’s last novel is an appropriately heartwarming and spirit restoring swan song. In classic Binchy-style, the gentle story is populated with a large cast of often eccentric, always endearing characters. . . Stone House, a country inn on the West Coast of Ireland serves as the cozy setting for these interrelated tales of love, loss, friendship, and community. . . . Pour yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up, and prepare to savor this bit of comfort food for the soul. Booklist
  • Classic Binchy. . . her fans will find solace as hearts mend and relationships sort themselves out one last time. Kirkus
  • “Lovely…Binchy’s last novel radiates the warmth and charm that fans of the late Irish author will recognize and relish.”

    USA Today

  • “Fittingly, this posthumously published work by Ireland’s beloved lady of letters is itself a love letter to her homeland…Reading this novel is like ducking out of a cold rain into a fire-warmed pub filled with laughter.”

    People

  • “Fans of Binchy and newcomers to her work alike should consider themselves fortunate to have been left such a clear-eyed and open-hearted final gift.” 

    Daily Beast

  • “A treat as rich as a box of chocolates.”

    AARP magazine

  • “The late great Binchy’s last novel is an appropriately heartwarming and spirit restoring swan song. In classic Binchy-style, the gentle story is populated with a large cast of often eccentric, always endearing characters…Pour yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up, and prepare to savor this bit of comfort food for the soul.”

    Booklist

  • “Classic Binchy…her fans will find solace as hearts mend and relationships sort themselves out one last time.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • An NPR Bestseller
  • A Chicago Tribune Bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2013
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teeliles | 2/17/2014

    " I've always loved this author and her Irish tales (Tara Road, Circle of Friends, Scarlet Feather, among many others) and while this book was not my favorite, the characters -- both new and recurring -- are equally as charming. Good light reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 2/16/2014

    " It was so enjoyable to read another book by Maeve. Always sorry when the story ends. Also, we will miss her stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacqueline Green | 2/7/2014

    " I loved the setting of this book! It made me want to take a walking trip in Ireland. I grew attached to each of the characters and loved to see how their vacation changed them. I did have some trouble staying interested at the switching points, where the book would switch to a whole new character, but eventually Id love that character too, and be sad when the next switch took place! It was also fun to see how all the different storylines and characters came together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jade Keller | 2/7/2014

    " This was a fun, enjoyable read, perfect for a light afternoon or weekend. The characters are fun, and I love pretty much anything involving Ireland. I did think the separate story lines would come together a bit more at the end, or that the characters would do something collectively at the end, so the ending wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped. But all in all, it was a nice light read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia Navratil | 1/26/2014

    " A nice, homey read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tera | 1/25/2014

    " I love Maeve Binchy. I liked this book. It is a series of short stories and once I got involved with a character...their story ended. I hadn't read specific reviews so I wasn't prepared for the short story structure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancye | 1/23/2014

    " I have never been disappointed by a Maeve Binchy book and this one was just as wonderful as the others. I don't even know how you classify her books, except that they are amazing, yet simple, stories about people. She doesn't have to have crazy twists, mysteries or high drama to pull you in, she just tells the stories of her characters. I love how they intertwine with each other and cross paths with other characters you have read about in previous books. Maeve Binchy is one of the best story tellers and I'm sad that this is the last book of hers I will read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dejah | 1/22/2014

    " I highly recommend this book too! I read it in just one day (but mostly because I have a cold and didn't feel up to anything else!) This is a wonderful story of the people starting up a bed and breakfast on the coast of Western Ireland and the dozen or so people that arrive as the first guests for a week in winter. I love that each character comes with their own detailed back story that adds so much to the whole story. It makes me wonder about all the people I meet and that they have stories too. WARNING: this book made me want to visit Ireland, in fact if there were a real Stone House in Stonybridge, I might start planning a trip... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 1/19/2014

    " My first book from my mom was Mauve Binchy's "Light a Penny Candle" I know I read all of her books due to that memory. This one was a nice weekend read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol Wrzosek | 1/13/2014

    " I loved it! It's sad that Maeve is no longer with us. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia Linville | 1/9/2014

    " More upbeat than many of her other books, poignant, uplifting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Morgan Bast | 1/6/2014

    " Terrible! It's written so poorly and literally every character is a spinster. Pass on this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy Brown | 12/13/2013

    " Interesting character study, typical of Ms. Binchy's books. Set in Ireland at a newly renovated guest house, people from various backgrounds and life experiences come to spend a week on the western shore. I enjoyed it as a quick relaxing read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leala | 12/11/2013

    " I really enjoyed reading maveve bin hey over the years. Her novels are entertaining and fun. Her last book A Week in Winter did not let me down. RIP "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 12/5/2013

    " A classic Maeve Binchy book. I will really miss this author. She always makes me want to travel to Irland. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bj Travis Thomas | 11/6/2013

    " Sad to read Maeve Binchy's last book. But having said that, it wasn't her best. She sort of tied the characters to each other but it wasn't a strong tie. I like how she subtly brings in places and characters from her other books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keli | 10/23/2013

    " Great book but the ending was disappointing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kateann | 10/16/2013

    " A lovely Maeve Binchy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bea Lathrop | 9/12/2013

    " I liked it--a very entertaining story. Maeve Binchy did alright in her writing career; sorry that it was her last book. She always made you care about what happened to the characters in her stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim Scanlan | 9/8/2013

    " Nice easy read but certainly not challenging! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacie | 8/29/2013

    " This was a very good! As with most Binchy books though, there are many characters and it's a little difficult to keep everybody straight at first. I thoroughly enjoyed it though and thought it was one of her best books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brigitt | 7/21/2013

    " I read it a month ago and had to reread the synopsis to remember the storyline. NOT A good sign! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Painter9300 | 6/30/2013

    " Not my favorite Binchy novel, but I did enjoy it. It still has the warmth and lovely building of the characters which make you feel that you know them intimately. Nice read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wilma | 5/5/2013

    " Maeve Binchy was the best storyteller and one of my favorite authors. I will miss her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Brown | 5/1/2013

    " Maeve Binchy wrote novels that were lighthearted.. so you could escape. Her characters were always loveable. This, her last novel, was predictable in plot. Her books end well. To read Binchy is to wrap yourself in a warm sweater at the end of the day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brady | 3/21/2013

    " Lovely. Exactly what I wanted out of a last book. Breaks my heart that it IS the last. "

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About the Author
Author Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy (1940–2012) was the author of numerous bestselling books, including Minding Frankie, Heart and SoulWhitethorn Woods, and Circle of Friends, as well as Tara Road, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. She contributed to GourmetO, The Oprah MagazineModern Maturity; and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. Married to Gordon Snell, she lived in Dalkey, Ireland, until her death in July 2012 at the age of seventy-two, shortly after finishing A Week in Winter.

About the Narrator

Rosalyn Landor has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.