• Midwinter Break

  • By: Bernard MacLaverty
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-01-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
  • 3 out of 5 stars 3.0 (3 ratings)

Regular price: $28.91

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Publisher's Summary

An intense exploration of love and uncertainty when a long-married couple, Gerry and Stella, take a midwinter break in Amsterdam to refresh the senses, do some sightseeing and generally take stock of their lives. Their relationship seems easy, familiar - but over its course we discover the deep uncertainties between them.
Gerry, once an architect, is forgetful and set in his ways. Stella is tired of his lifestyle and angry at his constant undermining of her religious faith. Things are not helped by memories that resurface of a troubled time in their native Ireland. As their vacation 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 this is the essential MacLaverty novel: compassionate observation, elegant writing and a heartrending story. It is also a profound examination of human love and how we live together - a chamber piece of resonance and power.
©2017 Bernard MacLaverty (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"A work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy.... Full of scenes that are rendered with exquisite accuracy and care...this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers." (Colm Tóibín)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Robin on 10-27-17

Dreary tale about sad people

The narration was excellent but I had little empathy with either of the two main characters, an alcoholic retired architect who put up with his miserable wife who wanted to ditch her husband to become a religious recluse.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By peter on 11-08-17

Best listen of 2017

This is a beautiful book. The writing is elegant, direct and vivid. The two characters are, like most of us full of faults but full of goodness. The story is both small and personal, and political in the sense that it is love story set against the background and aftermath of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, though virtually all the action takes place in Holland.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Caroline on 09-03-17

Good but not great

There was a lot I really liked about this book. As a portrait of a long-standing marriage it was very convincing. The little habits a couple develop and the fact that you can enjoy certain things about a partner whilst feeling discontented really rang true. For me the thing that let it down were that the main aspects of the characters and the reason for the conflict between them - Gerry's alcoholism and Stella's Catholicism - seemed a bit stereotypical for an Irish couple and so made them seem less believable and a bit shallow.

It was very well narrated though.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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