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The Winter House

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  459 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A compelling story of families and lives assembled from the broken remains of what has been lost.
Published 2010 by Gardners Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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My first read of 2010. I loved this book and read it over 2 nights. The story challenges the reader to confront the issue of mortality and the fraility of the human condition. It moves easily through the different stages of development from childhood to adolescence as seen through the eys of middle age. You can almost feel the icy coldness of the Scottish landscape which houses the 3 main characters as the play out their final days together and the inevitability of death.
The move from the thoug
Mari Biella
Dec 09, 2014 Mari Biella rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like subtle reads
The plot of The Winter House is simplicity itself - a group of old friends (one of whom is dying) get together and reminisce. Think you've heard it before? You have. After all, the friends you make during the earthly hell of school and adolescence are often the best friends you ever have, and who can resist some misty-eyed nostalgia, especially when they're standing on the grey shores of encroaching middle age? A lot of writers certainly can't, and so the "old friends get together and remember" ...more
Sue G
I'm a huge fan of the Nicci French books, but someone told me I therefore probably wouldn't enjoy Nicci Gerrard's solo books. How wrong they were. Although the subject is very dark and I did end up dabbing my eyes on the train I loved this book and couldn't put it down.
The story is contemporary and follows forty-something Marnie as she is called to Scotland to the bedside of a dying friend. The story of the friendship is told as Marnie talks to Ralph while he lays bedridden and Ralph's thoughts
Steve lovell
Death - will it come quietly and humanely in the night? Will we go at peace with a life well lead and long, or will it take us raging at the unfairness of it all? Will it be long, drawn-out and befuddled in the arms of Morphia? The latter was certainly the cse with Ralph - it was novel length in coming. 'The Winter House' was a journey through three main lives entwined with two lesser players. The still strong ties of long lapsed friendships drew Marnie north to an isolated house in a frozen Sco ...more
Donnah Brown
Although I have read this book I'm not sure about it, it wasn't what I expected. The characters are mostly believable, although on occasions you feel annoyed by their actions. I think it was the all devouring, overwhelming weight of their entangled love that at times made it uncomfortable to read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Well written but I found all the characters so dislikeable. And honestly all that fuss and really not much happened to make a fuss over! Not my kind of story basically.
The story is about a man, named Ralph, who is ill from cancer. His illness gathers tree out of four old friends back together - Ralph, Oliver and Marnie.
Long ago Ralph, Oliver, Marnie and Lucy were really close. But then something happens and their friendship is broken. Lots of things are left unsaid, lots of deep feelings are buried.
As Ralph`s disease increasis he wants Marnie to remind him the beginning of their friendship and also what happend that it fell apart.
Filled with love, pain, dissa
This is one of my favourite books with one of my favourite characters (Ralph) from one of my favourite authors. So. That's all you need to know.

Here's what I wrote about it elsewhere in 2011:

"I got this one from my sister and have been sneaking around it until it was the perfect time to pick it up. And man, I'm glad I picked it up just now. What can I say about Nicci Gerrard's writing that I haven't said already? She takes you into her worlds and you just become part of them. She manages to mak
Beth Bonini
I didn't know one thing about this author when I picked up this book . . . but something about the title/cover appealed to me. Frankly, I was surprised by how beautifully written it was; the author has a really poetic feeling for language. It also had really interesting characters who were likeable -- and not at all "stock" or predictable.

The story centers around the friendships/romantic relationships of four characters and much of it is told in flashback. Although the "present" is a small cotta
Douglas Swy
A really good read, highly recommended if your into the type of book that throws pieces at you letting you put it together as it builds to a rather anti climactic end. Even though the end slides away it was still good trying to put the pieces of this puzzle together without the writer having to spell out every bit for me. I had already worked out the end about half way through, but that didn't stop me and if it did I would have missed out on some crucial facts. These facts help build and change ...more
An intensely emotional look at the intricacies of relationships and the tangle of lives, lies,truths and joys of youth. As marnie sits by her dying friends bed she finds her self looking back at the life she has lead and taking stock of all she has achieved and failed at. Her love for Ralph and Oliver Intensifies as the story unravels as does her relationships with other key characters. I went from pity to love to despising Ralph and his selfishness, it was as if I was Marnie. Such fabulous writ ...more
Jennifer Davy
I bought the winter house from a second hand book shop for £1. The reason I bought it was because it was brand new and unread previously. It wouldn't probably be a book I would necessarily read otherwise. However, I'm so glad that I did buy it and read it. I loved it. This book is character driven and very well written. It goes through the characters lives up to the point where they are now at their friend, ralph's death bed. I hoped something exciting was going to happen, but even though nothin ...more
Lucy McLaurin
Get the tissue box ready ... this was such an emotional and poignant story.

I absolutely loved this story and almost didn't want it to end as the end is inevitable and what the book is leading to, and the lead up got inside my heart and I just cried nearly all the way through. I believe this to be an excellent story as it totally involved me emotionally.
What is it about this book that sets it apart from the run of the mill 'chicklit' I usually avoid? Maybe it's the really likeable characters - gentle Marnie, hunky dependable Oliver, studious, sarcastic Lucy, artistic,solid potter Emma. And Ralph... ah Ralph. Damaged, vulnerable, wild, brilliant Ralph...

Ralph is dying and Marnie is called by Oliver to Ralph's remote cottage in Scotland to spend his last few precious days with him. At Ralph's bedside, Marnie dips in and out of their shared past t
Barbara Elsborg
I think I've read this before but it stood reading again. I really liked it but it made me cry several times. It's a story about death and life and everything in between. Called to the death bed of a man who was a childhood friend and a little more, Marnie goes to Scotland to be with Ralph, who's dying, and Oliver, his best friend who she once loved. Ralph loves Marnie and has done all his life and although Marnie loves him too, it's not in the same way that he loves her. Not spoiling anything b ...more
This book tells the story of three friends reunited after many years, and reveals their individual and entangled pasts piece by piece. The pace is slow, but the story cleverly written.

However, whilst I sympathised with the character of Marnie and hoped that she would get what she wanted from life; I struggled to feel much for Ralph, who may have been deeply troubled, but also seemed incredibly selfish. I'm sure others would disagree with me but the impression I received was that he kept putting
Katie Gerrard
This book, as you expect from Nicci Gerrard, is wonderfully written with each section flowing into each other with ease and the story building with perfection. It follows a really interesting idea of a group of friends and their complicated 'who wants to be with who' politics from when they met as teenagers, through to the student years and beyond to their meeting in the book. A winning formula. The only thing that I found problematic is that I found it very difficult to build sympathy with any ...more
An emotional journey following Marnie through her adolescence, friendships and relationships, told through reminiscences whilst she cared for her dying friend. Such a good, absorbing read.
Sarah Brade
Loved this book, never heard of the author but saw it at the library and thought it sounded good. Was hooked from the start loved the characters and storyline.
Ontzettend mooi, maar triest boek. Ik heb er toch even overgedaan eer ik het boek uit had, maar iedere dag ging ik steeds meer van het boek houden. Het is heel ontroerend geschreven, vooral wanneer Ralph verteld... Een thrillergehalte kan ik er niet in vinden, maar het is zeker een prachtige psychologische roman over liefde, jaloezie, verdriet, vertrouwen, herinneringen, vriendschap, leven en dood. Een bijzonder gevoelig boek wat me bij zal blijven...
The winter house is about 3 friends/lovers who all back together after some horrible events in their lifes. It is set in lovely setting/location and it feels like you are their with them. It has been very well and keeps you thinking about it even when you have finished it. Would liked to have given it 4 stars but sometimes I did put it down and found it hard to pick up (not one of them books where you can't put it down!) I do reecommend it though.
Wat ik knap vond van de schrijfster is dat ze emoties en 'hoe dingen voelen' op een hele goede een herkenbare manier omschreef (ook karakterontwikkeling etc); wat ik minder vond is dat het boek nogal stroperig was (langzaam en een tikkeltje dramatisch). Daardoor had ik, als ik het boek tijdelijk had dichtgeslagen, niet echt de dringende behoefte om verder te lezen. Hoe dan ook: het laatste boek van dit jaar is uit! Een fijn 2015 iedereen!
Elizabeth Braun
The reader immediately begins to sympathize with Marnie. She is dyslecsic, a wall flower, and always seems to blend into the background. When she is called to the death bed of one of her oldest and dearest friends, Ralph, all over her childhood memories flood her consciousness. So at Ralph's bedside they relive the memories. Some where joyful, but more often than not they were trials.
An enjoyable book.
The present day story takes place in a small cottage in the depths of the snowy, cold Scottish Highlands, in which are gathered Marnie, Oliver and Ralph, three old friends who haven’t seen each other for a long time. Ralph is dying and they have come together to put past problems behind them and be with him when he needs them most. Although the topic sounds bleak, it was a good read.
I loved this book. I feel the same way about it that I do a favorite song - and that is that it moved me in such a way that I could not begin to put my feelings into words. It just would not do it justice. Read the summary if you want to know what it's about. You may not like it. All I know is that I am very glad I read it (well, listened to the audiobook, anyway)
Maria Jones
Drawn by the fantastic cover, this book proved to be the perfect book to read by the winter fire as snow came down outside. It's a great juxtaposition of past and present that builds tension and draws you into the lives and characters of 3 people brought together in remotest Scotland after many years. An interesting examination of love in its many forms.
Lorraine Kelly
This is the first book to ever make me cry!
Zelden gevoelens zo goed verwoord gezien, alleen al daarvoor de moeite om te lezen. Het begin was wel lastig om er in te komen.
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Half of the writing team known as Nicci French . Nicci Gerrard & Sean French also write separately.

Gerard still works as a journalist for the Observer, covering high-profile trials.

Novels include Things We Knew Were True (2003), Solace (2005) and The Moment You Were Gone (2007), The Winter House (2009) and Missing Persons (2011).

More about Nicci Gerrard...
Things We Knew Were True Missing Persons The Moment You Were Gone Solace The Twilight Hour

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