Philip has loved Marnie forever. Someone she used to know very well, Oliver, tells her that another friend of hers from her youth, Ralph, is about to die. The E-mail message field is required. Sometimes it feels as if the snowy forest is more Scandinavia than northern Scotland so it's interesting to note from the conversation with the author at the end of the book that she originally thought to set the story in Sweden. Have we taken the right path? Using her sleuthing talents to shine light on the more unknowable mysteries of the human heart, she combines engaging storytelling with a romantic sensibility that celebrates both the death-defying power of shared histories — and the healing properties of cheese on toast.
Now they meet again in Ralph's secluded cottage to share the precious days that Ralph has left. A bravura performance, thanks Nicci Gerrard a fine and gifted writer. It deals with death in a real-life situation, the author must have experienced what she writes about. It is a story of unrequited love, jealousy and betrayal. Philip and Oliver have been friends forever. She leaves the puppets in the care of her ditzy former stepdaughter and sets off for an isolated cottage in the Scottish Highlands.
Ralph is dying and they have come together to put past problems behind them and be with him when he needs them most. The book surrounds the theme of death, about three of the characters die and it is most of the time set in miserable wet Scotland! I can't remember what led me to this book but it was just right for me at this point in time. The story of her younger life unfolds twenty years on, as she waits at the bedside of her friend Ralph who is dying of cancer. Excellent read, strongly recommended This is an enjoyable and worthwhile read, and I have given it four stars. Gerrard has always been at ease conjuring up the crises of adolescence, and, as the friends keep vigil by Ralph's bed, Marnie re-tells the story of the group's highly charged past, a love triangle with her teenage self at its heart.
In Ralph, Gerrard captures a familiar figure: a beautiful, highly-strung boy who flies too close to the sun. As Ralph falls for Marnie, Marnie falls for Ralph's best friend, Olivier, a boy as solid as Ralph is volatile. As they reminisce, Marnie is taken back to the summer years ago when everything changed between them and heartbreak and desire broke up their little group. The author's descriptions of a remote, cold, winter, Scottish landscape are, believe me, accurate and add to the mood of this remarkable book. I was at first slightly turned off by the theme of this book but decided to give it a try and was glad that I had done so.
Why did we lose touch with people, let them slip away?. Will Ralph say what needs to be said? What I thought was a final selfish demand of summoning Marnie to his bedside could be interpreted as Ralph's means of atonement, a way of re-uniting Marnie and Oliver. Ralph, Marnie and Oliver once knew each other well and are still inextricably bound by ties of love and betrayal. Not really, but I think my reason for slight reservation is that I didn't engage totally with the main characters, and I didn't entirely like them not always necessary of course but desirable in this type of story I think. As they share memories, Marnie is taken back to a summer when everything changed between them. Ralph, Marnie and Oliver once knew each other well and are still inextricably bound by ties of love and betrayal. If it's hard to distinguish one book from another, that's because her characters could so comfortably inhabit one another's middle-class kitchens.
Can they put the devastating events of twenty years ago to rest and rekindle the intimacy they once shared? Can they put to rest the devastating events of twenty years ago to rest and rekindle the intimacy they once shared? Can they come to terms with the devastating events of twenty years ago and rekindle the intimacy they once shared? In this her fourth solo work — she also co-writes thrillers as Nicci French — Gerrard examines how the intimacies and friendships of youth continue to exert their stranglehold well into middle age. A lot of the story looks at their earlier lives and how they became intertwined. By it was the intense loneliness of the realisation that ultimately we are all alone and must take that final step into the unknown. I found this book to be quite slow and at times boring. At times Marnie resented his intrusion into her family life, but was always there for him in times of crises.
What ensues from the dash to Scotland is Marnie recounting the story of their meeting and subsequent friendship to Ralph, not knowing if he can hear her or make sense of what she's saying. Marnie hasn't seen the mercurial Ralph since her early twenties, nor Oliver, the mutual friend who has rung with the news. Marnie Still lives in London, she is working in a puppet museum, and, although she has no children of her own, she has a close relationship with her two ex-stepdaughters, Luisa and Eva. Ralph, Marnie and Oliver once knew each other well and are still inextricably bound by ties of love and betrayal. It was a roller coster of emotion and I was incredibly moved and cried bucket loads.
I felt sorry for Ralph, but I didn't like him. The only real fact that emergede is t5hat Ralph died, the rest is for you decide. As Marnie settles in the small cottage by a loch, in the Scottish countryside, the past becomes more present to Marnie, who remembers her sixteen-year-old self, and the ties that used to bind the triangle of friends, Oliver, Ralph and her, what brought them together and what separated them, their complex relationships of friendship, love and betrayal. This is a masterclass in sensitive writing which never descends to the maudlin. That makes this book an obvious choice for me, but the characters also look back on their younger life so there's also some intrinsic interest for readers who still feel a long way off the stage of dying. It explores how friendships form, what draws us to one another and how the ties of family and friends are never truly broken. The novels makes you think of your owm memories, what happened to those people that you seemed so close to you all those years ago, what sort of lives have they lead, do they ever think of you, like you do of them,what would happen if we met them again.
Will Ralph have the chance to say what needs to be said before it's too late? Another good read by Nicci Gerrard! A rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish! The Winter House From the bestselling author of the Nicci French thrillers comes a heartbreakingly beautiful tale of life, love, family and friendship. I was prepared for a mass out pouring of grief and lots of sentimentality when Ralph finally dies, but this didn't eventuate. A mutual friend, Ralph Tinsley, is dying of cancer and has summoned Marnie to his home in Scotland. From the first few chapters as Marnie prepares to leave for Scotland, it is evident there has been an estrangement between a group of friends consisting of Marnie, Oliver, Ralph and Lucy. However, the end had me sobbing and any book that can do that is a winner in my eyes, as I know the story, characters or both have had a profound effect on me. In fact, I discovered that the book actually helped me reflect on a relationship in my own life to help me to see how valuable it is.