A WEEK IN WINTER by Maeve Binchy
From the book jacket:
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 the unlikely cast of characters is pure joy, full of Maeve's trademark warmth and humor. Once again, she embraces us with her grand storytelling.
This is Maeve Binchy's last book, as she died last year just after finishing it. I've always loved her books and this one was another good one.
Each chapter told the story of one of the main characters, telling the story of how they wound up at Stone House for the opening week. Everyone had a different reason for being there, and for the most part, they all enjoyed their stay. My only problem with the book is that the individual stories ended with their week-long holiday. I would have loved to have known more about what happened to them when they all went back to their regular lives.
Unfortunately, their further stories will never be told.