Another National Novel Writing Month has come to an end. Like last year, I managed to "win," by writing 50,000 words during the month. I finished Thanksgiving afternoon and, sad to say, have not written a word since. It's been crazy since then and I haven't had much chance to write — that, and I've been dying to do some serious reading.
One of the books I'd been looking forward to was "Winter Solstice" by Rosamunde Pilcher. This book was recommended to me by a friend, who reads it every December. She called it "comforting," and I can definitely see why. Rosamunde Pilcher creates a world that is very easy to immerse yourself into. There's something very cozy about it all, and I found myself looking forward to reading it every day. It was almost enough to stop a few little things from bothering me — almost.
The first strike this book had going against it was that the chapters focusing on Sam were dreadfully boring. I found myself skimming over paragraph after paragraph about him and the mill he was to save. This is my first Pilcher book, so I don't know if all her work is this way, but it was made infinitely worse by the fact that she tells the story from several different points of view and repeats the same information over and over. So, for example, you've just finished reading a chapter all about Sam, describing how he's been asked to save the mill that used to produce very high-end fabric but when the owner died his children didn't want anything to do with it, so the workers took over but there was a flood and it went bankrupt. Then, in the next chapter, Carrie meets Sam, who she learns has been asked to save the mill that used to produce very high-end fabric
but when the owner died his children didn't want anything to do with it,
so the workers took over but there was a flood and it went bankrupt.
I hate to sound like the morality police, but there were a few little things that annoyed me in that department, too. It bothered me quite a bit that two of the characters got together so quickly. There were some other little relationship bits that grated at me, too. All in all, it wasn't enough to completely ruin the book for me, but it did bother me a little.
All this aside, at the heart of "Winter Solstice" is a really lovely story about a group of people who are thrown together unexpectedly for Christmas. Each person has his or her own issues to get past, but with the help of the others, all of them are able to heal.
I don't know if "Winter Solstice" will become a yearly tradition for me, but I could definitely see myself revisiting it sometime in the future.