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4.3 out of 5 stars216
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on August 31, 2002
Of all of the Rosamunde Pilcher books that I own, and I own all of them, Winter Solstice is my favorite. It was the first of her books that I read and I've not been able to read any other author since.
Ms. Pilcher's ability to bring out the feeling of being in the story is so strong and comforting. I find her lack of sex, violence, and vulgar langauge very uplifting and hopeful. In a world where each of us hears about such things every day, it is nice to end my day with the peace that she brings to me. I will not depart with any of my Pilcher books. I highly recommend them to friends, but prefer to purchase new copies for them to read.
Ms. Pilcher has strengthened my desire to visit the countryside of Scotland and her people.
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If you are longing to feel better about life, about the goodness of people, about the blessings of friendship, and if you are longing to be renewed and refreshed from the inside out, to see examples of hope fulfilled, then please, take a weekend, like I did, and savor every page of this lovely book. As the weekend drew to a close, and I turned the last page today, I felt a sense of loss that I would be leaving these dear characters on the pages. I found myself wishing for just a little more... oh, please, just a few more pages... let me have just a few more moments with them. Can't I just know what happened the next day? Perhaps a sequel? It was that kind of book, and I am profoundly moved. I am a very busy person, with no time to waste on anything less than the highest quality book, written with enduring values. I want to finish a book with more joy than I had at the start. And I did. Enjoy it....
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on January 3, 2003
I was at loose ends for something to read, and I saw this book. It seemed interesting, so I bought it and took it home. As a writer myself, I tend to be very picky about plot lines and characterization, but I must say that this book validated all that I had heard of Rosamunde Pilcher - and it was not even considered her best.
It was wonderful, full of understanding of people's trials and foibles, with an underlying hope and strength. The ending was just magnificent! I went from this to read two more of her novels, and plan to continue reading Pilcher.
You'll love this book!
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on July 22, 2002
I purchased this book a couple of years ago because I am a huge Rosamunde Pilcher fan. When the book arrived I put it on the shelf, and for some reason or another did not actually read it until last week! I savored every word! It is beautifully written with characters and descriptions that make the reader feel so good. I have had the opportunity to visit Ms. Pilcher's Cornwall, and reading this book brought back some wonderful memories. I could actually smell the salt air! So put the kettle on, curl up in your favorite spot and start to read. It will be time well spent.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon October 12, 2013
Not being a genre that I normally read, I was pleasantly surprised. Pilcher was able to paint a picture of the lives of a handful of people without any wasted words or descriptions. She made you a deal that you were there. Two worlds that is just as real as the one that you wake up to. Yet even though the people are familiar the environment is unique. It is what you that he'll as you read this book that makes it worth of re-reading. My only wish is that there would be a sequel.

I'm now reading the book after first listening to the tape-recording, Read by Lynn Redgrave. Lynn has a pleasant reading voice and can distinguish between the characters well enough that you don't have to guess who is talking. The abridged version allows you to follow the story without taking too many sidetracks. Rosamunde Pilcher, Is one of the few writers that can make the sidetrack is interesting is the main story. She has made the reconsider this genre

I would describe the story itself, but it is better to have it unfold before your eyes. You will not be disappointed.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon December 23, 2003
Not being a genre that I normally read, I was pleasantly surprised. Pilcher was able to paint a picture of the lives of a handful of people without any wasted words or descriptions. She made you a deal that you were there. Two worlds that is just as real as the one that you wake up to. Yet even though the people are familiar the environment is unique. It is what you that he'll as you read this book that makes it worth of re-reading. My only wish is that there would be a sequel.
I'm now reading the book after first listening to the tape-recording, Read by Lynn Redgrave. Lynn has a pleasant reading voice and can distinguish between the characters well enough that you don't have to guess who is talking. The abridged version allows you to follow the story without taking too many sidetracks. Rosamunde Pilcher, Is one of the few writers that can make the sidetrack is interesting is the main story. She has made the reconsider this genre
I would describe the story itself, but it is better to have it unfold before your eyes. You will not be disappointed.
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on April 20, 2003
To start off, this book is a masterpiece. I loved most of the characters and their trials and tribulations made me smile. But I have to say that it was extremely slow at times and also some of the descriptions were unnecessary. I thought that reading about everything the Keelings did every day for 60 years could be a little tiring. 300 pages must have described their life alone! And considering this books considerable size, I'm sure it could have been much better. Also, the story of the painting the Shell Seekers seemed only secondary, the book seemed to travel only around the Keelings- not that they were not interesting in their own right.
The plot also seemed weak and disorderly at times. it doesn't mean I did not like the book. I just think it could have focused more on the story instead of just the house. I might read September, but I will wait a little while before reading anymore of Rosamunde Pilcher. This book will still come recommended by me to my friends. It's worth enjoying!
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on July 6, 2002
This is one of the best books I've read in ages and I love re-reading it. Pilcher's stories create worlds the reader wants to settle into and stay in.
Penelope (I see her as Kate Hepburn in "Summertime") has a painting that she especially loves. Her father did it years ago, of her playing on the beach, and titled it "The Shell Seekers." Now her deceased father's paintings have become valuable. When the story begins, Penelope returns home from a hospital stay. She has released herself, feeling that she has sufficiently recovered from her heart attack. She feels an increased sensitivity to life and relationships and she's driven by a need to accomplish some final things with family and friends.
There's a great deal to be desired in her relationship with two of her children and with their relationship with each other. They want her to sell the painting and their motives are selfish.
As the story progresses, Penelope feels the need to return to her childhood home. She invites each child to go with her and each refuses for one reason or another. So she takes two cherished young friends on a pilgrimage into her past that changes their destinies. And hers.
Pilcher creates women characters who are strong and independent and at the same time feminine. Penelope doesn't need a man to help her work through her problems but when one comes along, she's gracious and kind.
This book is about values and relationships, hope and dreams, rights and wrongs. It's a delightful story that I hated to end. I wanted it to go on and on and on.
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on June 29, 2002
I have long been a fan of the great Irish author Maeve Binchy. So much a fan that about a year ago I joined a Maeve Binchy book club. Many of the other members recommended that I read Rosamunde Pilcher because she manages to capture the magic that Maeve Binchy does. Both women are amazing at writing characters, interweaving stories, and bring small towns to life. Winter Solstice, by Rosamunde Pilcher, does just that.
Five people, all hurt by someone they loved, come together in the small town of Creagan, Scotland right around the time of the Winter Solstice. Some of the guests are planned, some of them are not. But in the end, all of the guests are welcome and life just wouldn't seem the same without them. As they laugh and cry together they all learn to heal and love: Oscar - who just lost his wife and daughter in a car accident, Elfrida- her great love died of Parkinson's disease, Carrie- the love of her life decided to stay with his wife leaving her out in the cold, Lucy- who feels dreadfully alone and unloved by her mother and grandmother, and Sam- who recently learned his wife wants a divorce. It is only as a collective whole that these five brilliantly written characters can overcome tragedy and begin life anew.
Pilcher is a crafty writer, down to the smallest detail. And this is not nit-picky, it is what makes her novel so delightful. You fall in love with everything form Horace the dog, to Rory the neighbor, with Estate House, even with Carrie's loden colored coat. Pilcher doesn't bog you down with characters that, later on in the novel, you have to try to remember "who was that?" Every person is important and adds to the novel. Even better, no one and nothing seems too outlandish.
Almost every novel ends with a "happily ever after," however, Winter Solstice doesn't spell it out for you. It is even better than a fairy tale, because only the foundations of what could be happily ever after are laid and the reader can just imagine what the future will hold.
After reading Winter Solstice I understand why Rosamunde Pilcher was so highly recommended. And this recommendation I pass on to others.
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on January 20, 2002
What I especially took away from this warm, rich, and satisfying tale was the comforting and lovely notion that people beyond middle age can still enjoy rewarding, meaningful, and yes--sexual relationships that are every bit as intense as those in the younger years. And that the joys of knowing one's self enough to indulge in such a relationship are one of the perks of getting older.
Oh, what a dear and lovely book, and what a good, old-fashioned story! What I love so about Ms. Pilcher is that she makes no apologies for her style. It is simple, direct, in-your-face story-telling, with absolutely no ulterior motives whatsoever.
The book is so rich is its characterisations and in its small things--a description of a dog, a bedroom, a small moment in a garden--that it is difficult to describe a "plot" per se, although of course there is one. Briefly, then, aging, eclectic former actress Elfrida (a delight in herself) moves (albeit reluctantly) to a village that she deems appropriate for those of advancing age, like herself. There, she sets up a lifestyle in a small cottage, and the highlight of this lifestyle is that, for once, she is able to do whatever she darn pleases, like it or not.
In time, she befriends former schoolteacher and musician Oscar Blundt and his domineering wife, neighbors who become comfortable companions for the very self-reliant Elfrida. Meanwhile, Carrie, Elfrida's second cousin, has returned to London from Austria, where, as a very successful travel agent, she has had her heart broken by a failed romance. Carrie, to her consternation (as she is not ready to take on any more responsibility and only wants to be "mothered"), finds her 14-year-old niece Lucy in dire straits, ignored by her horrible mother, and overly spoiled by her equally horrible grandmother. Carrie must, very reluctantly, do something to help Lucy--her conscience will not let her ignore that young girl's distress. What better thing, then, to go off and visit Counsin Elfrida?
To "thicken the stew" of these very dissimilar characters, along comes young, stalwart and attractive Sam, a successful businessman who is recalled from New York by his demanding company chairman to try to revitalize an ailing Scottish textile mill.
All of these separate and equally lonely (although all would deny it) souls come together during a cold and bleak winter...and each is warmed as his or her life becomes woven in a tapestry involving the others.
Sigh. This just may be the perfect book, one to read and savor, ideally on a snowy day, wrapped in an afghan with a dog at one's feet, a cat on one's lap, and a cup of something warm and wonderful to drink. But it works just as well sitting in an orthodontist's office waiting to take your preteen home and feed him/her pizza so you can have more time to read this fabulour book!
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