Winter Solstice (by Rosamunde Pilcher)

Oh, I do like Rosamunde Pilcher. She has the most amazing gift of characterisation, creating people I find myself caring about enormously. I've loved all her books, and was very disappointed to hear that she's retired from writing - but what a wonderful gift she has left in this, her final novel.

This is the story of Elfrida, a retired - and somewhat eccentric - lady living in a small village. She slowly makes friends, and is generally contented.

Then a friend suffers a terrible tragedy, and she decides to go to Scotland with him, where she gradually takes in various lonely people, and falls in love.

It's a beautiful book. I loved every moment of reading it (well, other than the shock that happened early in the story), and wanted to start over again when I had finished. Possibly Rosamunde Pilcher's best ever. Her characters are warm, believable and lovable, the story is hopeful, and the ending satisfying.

Highly recommended.

(I wrote a slightly longer review of Winter Solstice when I re-read it nearly four years later)

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