Midwinter Break (Ebook epub) by Bernard MacLaverty

Bernard MacLaverty Ú 5 Summary

Her religious faith Things are not helped by memories that 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. The family is raised the work s done That can t be it can it There s ten or twenty years left over as it were We ve cut the life of our cloth wrongly It doesn t fit I have a sense of drift I want to do something with the time I have left Other than watch you drink This book is the story of a midwinter break taken in Amsterdam by a retired couple Gerry and Stella Gerry and Stella are a Northern Irish Catholic Couple now living in GlasgowThe title however also conveyed to me the essence of the book Stella is conscious that she is in the midwinter of her life their only son living in Canada with his wife and son contemplates a break in their relationship driven by Gerry s alcoholism and a move to a religious community due to her sense of an unfilled promise made to God years earlierA beautifully understated novel and a brilliant portrait of a long relationship a relationship forever changed by one event but which is then worked out over years a relationship of two people simultaneously so close that they sub consciously anticipate each other s wants thoughts and needs and yet seemingly irreconcilably distant each with their own thoughts desires and secrets He believed that everything and everybody in the world was worthy of notice but the person beside him was something beyond that To him her presence was as important as the world And the stars around it If she was an instance of the goodness in this world then passing through by her side was miracle enough The Prince of Pleasure (The Wilde Brothers, years left over as it were We ve cut the life of our cloth wrongly It doesn t fit I have a sense of drift I want to do something with the time I have left Other than watch Hers to Protect you drink This book is the story of a midwinter break taken in Amsterdam by a retired couple Gerry and Stella Gerry and Stella are a Northern Irish Catholic Couple now living in GlasgowThe title however also conveyed to me the essence of the book Stella is conscious that she is in the midwinter of her life their only son living in Canada with his wife and son contemplates a break in their relationship driven by Gerry s alcoholism and a move to a religious community due to her sense of an unfilled promise made to God Her Small-Town Hero years earlierA beautifully understated novel and a brilliant portrait of a long relationship a relationship forever changed by one event but which is then worked out over Red Tail (Travis Trilogy years a relationship of two people simultaneously so close that they sub consciously anticipate each other s wants thoughts and needs and Promises in Tumble Creek yet seemingly irreconcilably distant each with their own thoughts desires and secrets He believed that everything and everybody in the world was worthy of notice but the person beside him was something beyond that To him her presence was as important as the world And the stars around it If she was an instance of the goodness in this world then passing through by her side was miracle enough

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Midwinter Break

A retired couple Gerry and Stella Gil 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 familia. Irish born Stella and Gerry are at a crossroads in their lives Approaching their late sixties they no longer share common interests Gerry has his drinking whilst Stella has her religion a faith which has never deserted her even at the lowest point in her life They may not share common interests but they still share intimacies that come from a long marriage from knowing a person as well as you know yourself the way Gerry still takes Stella s hand when crossing the road or the habit they have of sharing a kiss whenever they re in an elevator As the story begins Stella and Gerry are about to take a trip to Amsterdam and it s told with an unflinching honesty that I found heartbreaking The small silences that older marriages are comfortable enough to endure become virtual non communication for them Stella has her own agenda for this trip which doesn t include her husband while Gerry is happy to be left to his drinking secret or otherwise I liked the way the author gave snippets of information in the form of flashbacks especially to the troubles in Northern Ireland and the dreadful day when Stella became one of the many statistics of the troubles fortunately one who lived to tell the taleThe writing is simply exuisite and captures so well the problems that come with age not just in medical terms but also how the passing years bring about a need to re examine life and decisions The author has told the story with love and compassion and there was a particular scene that takes place in Anne Frank s house in Amsterdam involving an earring that makes me want to weep just thinking about it so movingBernard MacLaverty s insight into love in later years is simply beautiful to witness I want to gather his words into a great big hug and keep them close foreverThank you to Netgalley and Random House UK Vintage Publishing for my ARC in exchange for an honest review

review Midwinter Break

R But over the course of the four days we discover the deep uncertainties that 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. This love story about a retired couple is full of paradox It appears uite light but it is surprisingly deep It seems uite ordinary but its impact is extraordinary It is funny and serious a sad book and a happy book at the same time A book mainly about Him yet predominantly about Her A book about a shared life that is not really shared at allI figured near the beginning that this Him Her story wouldn t suit me I wasn t interested in knowing that She says her prayers every night before getting into bed with her hot water bottle or that He who never prays sits up all night with his whiskey bottle instead And even though I related slightly better to Him than to Her I just couldn t get interested in the clues to unhappiness that were scattered everywhere Clues such as artificial tears and cracks in masonryBut somewhere along the way in the space between one line and the next there was an inexplicable shift in my thinking I still don t know how it happened but by the end of the book I had become completely involved in both the story and the writing picking up on the author s clues eagerly and even anticipating the words that would come next As He chants a litany of praise to Her for example I was thinking That s a hymn a Him to Her And then He says exactly that It was as if the story was a crossword and I had learned to figure it outThat was uite a miraculous turnaround you might say sceptically And I m inclined to be sceptical about it myself I ve never had much time for the miraculousBut miracle like happenings can insert themselves into the smallest spaces think of the wonder of the midwinter sun slicing through the prehistoric underground chamber at NewgrangeBernard McLaverty shines a light into the hidden spaces of a shared life and the result is uite wonderful


10 thoughts on “Midwinter Break

  1. says:

    Irish born Stella and Gerry are at a crossroads in their lives Approaching their late sixties they no longer share common interests Ge

  2. says:

    This is a profoundly moving and perceptive examination of the anatomy of a long marriage Gerry and Stella Gil a

  3. says:

    Bernard MacLaverty is an Irish author new to me His writing is impeccable and intimate He paints a clear portrait of a retired middle age marrie

  4. says:

    Stella and Gerry married for forty years in the retirement years of their life one son one grandson They take a weekend trip leaving Scotland and heading to Amsterdam Gerry thinks it is just for time away change of pace but Stella has other motives a discontent in her life and a spiritual promise made during a time of heartbreaking distress

  5. says:

    This love story about a retired couple is full of paradox It appears uite light but it is surprisingly deep It seems uite ordinary but its impact is extraordinary It is funny and serious a sad book and a happy book at the same time

  6. says:

    Bernard MacLaverty has written with this book an utterly compelling and disarmingly human novel in which each one of us will see parts of ourselvesI read it during one of my recurrent February doldrums and I have

  7. says:

    All Women Marry Beneath ThemselvesLike the Shakers the Beguine movement was an attempt to provide some institutional respite for women in a world dominated by men their narcissistic violence and chronically inadeuate women’s toilet facilities The Begijnhof in Amsterdam is a vestige of this movement which is pro

  8. says:

    In every relationship’ said Stella ‘there’s a flower and a gardener One who does the work and one who displaysAt first nothing heralded th

  9. says:

    The family is raised the work’s done That can’t be it can it? There’s ten or twenty years left over as it were We’ve cut the life of our cloth wrongly It doesn’t fit I have a sense of drift I want to do something with the

  10. says:

    Mac Laverty is a writer of gorgeous prose and deeply thoughtful novels His latest novel strengthens his reputation as an exceptional writer Stella and Gerry are a retired couple in their 70’s Mac Laverty spreads details about their lives throughout the book rather than giving them to the reader upfront They now live in Glasgow and have been there for several decades Stella grew up in a large Catholic family in rural No

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