Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Midwinter Break
Midwinter Break | Bernard MacLaverty
'Midwinter Break is a work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy, about coming to terms - to an honest reckoning - with love and the loss of love, with memory and pain. Full of scenes that are rendered with exquisite accuracy and care, allowing the most detailed physical descriptions to be placed against the possibility of a rich spiritual life, this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers.' Colm T ibYn Sixteen years on from his last novel, Bernard MacLaverty reminds us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers. A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly from their home in Scotland to Amsterdam for a long weekend. A holiday to refresh the senses, to do some sightseeing and generally to take stock of what remains of their lives. Their relationship seems safe, easy, familiar - but over the course of the four days we discover the deep uncertainties which exist between them. Gerry, once an architect, is forgetful and set in his ways. Stella is tired of his lifestyle, worried about their marriage and angry at his constant undermining of her religious faith. Things are not helped by memories which have begun to resurface of a troubled time in their native Ireland. As their midwinter break comes to an end, we understand how far apart they are - and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves. Bernard MacLaverty is a master storyteller, and Midwinter Break is the essential MacLaverty novel- accurate, compassionate observation, effortlessly elegant writing and a tender, intimate, heart-rending story - but it is also a profound examination of human love and how we live together, a chamber piece of real resonance and power. Forty years on from his first book, Bernard MacLaverty has written his masterpiece.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
kathedron
Midwinter Break | Bernard MacLaverty
post image
Pickpick

Gorgeous, gorgeous book!
Gerry and Stella are taking a long weekend together in Amsterdam. Except that Gerry is spending much of his in the bottom of a whiskey glass and goodness knows where Stella is sneaking off to! They are good, ordinary, people who think the world of each other... but more than 40 years of shared personal history now demands a reckoning.
It's a wonderful, quiet, humane book. I loved it.

squirrelbrain Sounds fab - stacked! 1mo
CarolynM I've stacked it too. Thanks🙂 1mo
Anna40 Loved this book too and love your review 🌻 1mo
48 likes4 stack adds3 comments
review
Anna40
Midwinter Break: A Novel | Bernard MacLaverty
post image
Pickpick

I loved and devoured this book, could not put it down. A married couple, Gerry and Stella, travel to Amsterdam for a long weekend. We accompany them on this journey that takes us to Amsterdam, but also into each character's inner life, memories, dreams / hopes. We learn about their life together, their love for one another. A wonderful book and the writing is excellent. I LOVED it.

rachaich I actually visited Beginhof today purely because of this book. It was worth it. 2mo
Anna40 @rachaich Wow! It's a place I'd be interested to visit too because of the book. :) 2mo
rachaich I was in awe of the quiet and the atmosphere. I'm not at all religious but moved by the church. 2mo
Anna40 @rachaich if I ever make it to Amsterdam, I'll make sure to visit it as well. Have a great trip! 2mo
6 likes2 stack adds4 comments
blurb
Anna40
Midwinter Break | Bernard MacLaverty
post image

I'm still recovering from the sadness in the last book that I read. These two do not sound like 'happy' books either, but I was drawn to both, am looking forward to reading them and exploring Amsterdam in Midwinter Break through the eyes of the protagonists ...

review
rachaich
Midwinter Break | Bernard MacLaverty
post image
Pickpick

Wow! I really enjoyed this. I found the way in which we learnt about both of their individual lives whilst also hearing of their shared life, both oast and current, very well written and described.
I also felt the narrative about their holiday was full of description and detail. I'm looking forward to visiting Amsterdam in a few weeks!

blurb
rachaich
Midwinter Break | Bernard MacLaverty
post image

I'm off to Amsterdam next month and this is set there. The reviews appealed hugely so am quite keen.

Cathythoughts I‘m stacking for a winter read 👍🏻 3mo
15 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
smccallum
Midwinter Break | Bernard MacLaverty
post image

Reading a wintery book on the sunniest of days 😂

review
BarbaraBB
Midwinter Break | Bernard MacLaverty
post image
Pickpick

Gerry and Stella are a middle-aged couple, married for years. They are Irish, living in Scotland. With time on their side they take a midwinter break to Amsterdam. They seem so at ease with eachother, you‘d almost envy them, but nothing is as it seems. They are both looking for other things in life: for her it is religion and spirituality, for him it‘s the whiskey. This book describes what they both do and how they feel. Painfully honest.

AshleyHoss820 Can I just point out that I love your built-ins? Cuz I do! 2y
LeahBergen This sounds wonderful. Stacked! 2y
emilyhaldi Went to stack this but it already was!! Nice review 👍🏻👍🏻 2y
See All 9 Comments
BarbaraBB @emilyhaldi I thought I spotted a copy of it in a picture of your tbr mountain lately. I was probably wrong 😀 (edited) 2y
BarbaraBB @AshleyHoss820 Thank you 😘 2y
Zelma That sounds lovely, and kind of reminiscent of the quiet novels of Anita Brookner. 2y
BarbaraBB @Zelma Yes indeed. It also reminded me a bit of Colm Toibin. 2y
emilyhaldi Close!!! You probably spotted this one 😉 2y
BarbaraBB @emilyhaldi Haha! That must be it 😃 2y
74 likes5 stack adds9 comments
quote
charl08
Midwinter Break: A Novel | Bernard MacLaverty
post image

At the Art Gallery on the Mound a young lad pressed his feet against two fluted columns, then inched himself up the building – twenty or thirty feet above the heads of the crowd where he juggled with flaming torches. And as he did so everybody realised that there was no way he could get down....eventually he jigged his way down to applause – a stuttering descent, like a toy woodpecker sliding down a vertical wire.

38 likes1 stack add
quote
charl08
Midwinter Break: A Novel | Bernard MacLaverty
post image

‘Why do I take the notion more often when we‘re away?‘ said Stella. ‘Can you guess?‘‘No.‘‘Because I don‘t have to think of dinners. The dinner. On a daily basis. It‘s the bane of my life. Remember Mister and Missus Sheep?‘‘No?‘‘Mister Sheep says I‘m fed up eating the same grass, day in, day out. ‘‘And?‘‘And Missus Sheep says At least I don‘t have to cook it.‘

blurb
MrBook
Midwinter Break: A Novel | Bernard MacLaverty
post image

#TBRtemptation post 3! Recently released. Retired couple Gerry and Stella Gilmore fly from Scotland to Amsterdam for vacation. Over the next 4 days, we'll see the hidden uncertainties in their marriage. Gerry's now forgetful and obstinate, Stella's frustrated and angry. Memories of their native Ireland don't help matters. Will their marriage survive? #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

70 likes4 stack adds