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The Heart of Winter

(Huntersbrook House #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  407 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Holly Craig's family have lived happily in Huntersbrook for generations but when times grow hard, even she must admit defeat and sell off their once-successful stables.
The three Craig children, Lainey, Joey and Pippa find themselves locked in a fight to keep their beloved Huntersbrook; dare they transform it into one of Ireland's most sought after countryside venues?
Paperback, 439 pages
Published 2014 by Hachette Books Ireland
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  407 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Nov 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don’t be put off by the fluffy cover on this one. Yes, it is an uplifting, easy to read family drama that is just perfect for the build up to Christmas, but it is one with hidden depths as some of the themes explored in the book are quite dark and moving. The Craig family have come to the decision that the only way to save the magnificent house that has been their family home for three generations is by reopening it as an events venue. It is a lovely read about a really lovely family, the sort y ...more
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
We first met Craig family in Driving Home for Christmas. Please don't worry if you haven't read Driving Home for Christmas, I can promise you all that you won't feel lost. You will find The Heart of Winter a comforting read. Huntersbrook House has been in Joey's mother's family for three generations. Money had been poured into saving the stunning Georgian residence. Joey Craig came up with the idea to turn Huntersbrook House into a countryside wedding venue. Emma Hannigan certainly is a writer w ...more
Rachel Gilbey
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Heart of Winter sees us return to Huntersbrook House, setting of Driving Home for Christmas, and a return to the Craig family. Once again Huntersbrook House is the key to the book, but this time as a an events venue, and the book is set in the run up to Christmas.

Although this is a sequel, that is set around 3 years after the original, it can definitely be read as a standalone. Enough relevant information is provided, but due to the huge range of character development between the two books,
Gill Brown
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really lovely and great having characters from another book brought back into it.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent read by this author. Look forward to reading the others by her.
Cleopatra  Pullen
Oct 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, own
Having enjoyed Emma Hannigan’s previous book The Summer Guest I was delighted to be offered a copy of The Heart of Winter. Only on finishing the book did I realise that the Craig family previously appeared in Driving Home for Christmas which was published last year. Although this is a perfectly good read as a stand-alone book I think the early chapters would have read a little smoother if the author hadn’t had to try so hard to cement the characters personalities to allow for those of us who had ...more
Margaret Madden
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Huntersbrook has always come alive at Christmas. A Georgian home, to a grown up family, traditions have been set over the years and winter is a magical time in this Southern Irish House. The Craigs have a plan and hope to bring the house back to one of laughter and happiness. The recession has hit everyone, but has it changed the core values and personalities that were there all along? Holly and Paddy welcome back their children, Pippa, Lainey and Joey, along with a few stragglers, as they prepa ...more
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
This is the second book in a series but can be read as a standalone which I've done. Having said that I would have liked to have read book one first to get to know more about the characters.

I found this to be a lovely Christmasy read in an Irish setting. It's told mainly from the children's point of view- Lainey, Joey and Pippa. As an irish girl I really enjoyed this read. It brought me back to my younger days when I inhaled books from Irish authors like Patricia Scanlon, Maeve Binchy and Cathy
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting a light and fluffy festive read - but I got something far more than that. Thoughtfully written with a raft of great characters and some gritty themes. This is my first book by Emma Harrington - but it won't be my last.
Sarah Lee
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. I read the other in this series and enjoyed that too. Could be read though without reading the first book.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely Christmas read. Didn't have me desperately wanting to turn the page but was a "nice" book with a lovely family feel.
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved these books would be good to have a third
Just recieved this book and will read it and leave my review soon
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Huntersbrook House duo of books are really one of the best things to read over Christmas – the warm and friendly family atmosphere both set around Christmas as this is the time of the year where the mother of the three sibling main characters puts everything into decorating the house for the festive period. This book picks up on where “Driving Home for Christmas” left off, although the grandmother and matriarch has since passed on and Huntersbrook House has been repurposed as a bed and break ...more
Clazzzer C
This book has a few good points but for the most part it just annoyed it. First of all I found so many typos. That’s not good enough. Towards the end character’s names were even mixed up. I felt it dragged and could easily have been cut much shorter. The style was so full of extremes, extremely soppy in parts, extreme hate, over the top anger, even the announcements at the end. While some of the story lines could’ve been good as a whole I didn’t particularly enjoy it.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Started off by disliking one of the characters immediately, however as the book moved on I changed my mind and really enjoyed this story.
Mad White
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a great book! It didn’t take itself too seriously but at the same time, you really cared about the characters and the way the story twisted and turned in a really uplifting way!
Mary O'Brien
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful read

Fantastic book. So moving and most stories real to life. I would recommend to book to any type of reader
Anne Byrne
Very good book, easy read
Lauren White
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so much. It’s so similar to my own family’s idea of how Christmas should be and I adore that. The sense of family is lovely and it really does have a moral without being preachy!
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Loved this. It’s the perfect Christmas novel, contains many themes and issues, is written from multiple perspectives without it being confusing or annoying, and best of al, it’s set in Ireland.
Andrea Jones
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fabulous and heartwarming read from Emma Hannigan.
This is the first book I have read by this author and I will be looking for more of her novels. Its lighthearted but not trivial. I would have liked more about Sadie but possibly there will be another book in the series.
Maria Casey
Enjoyed it but it wasn't a patch on the first book, Driving Home For Christmas.
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
The Heart of Winter is set in the county house of Huntersbrook which has been owned by the Craig family for three generations, now Holly Craig and her children must pull together to save the family home they adore. Although none of the children currently live at home they are drawn back to help transform the home they love into a house that can host upmarket country events.
Lainey the eldest lives with husband Matt and young son Ely in a farmhouse on the edge of the estate she is longing to expa
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
2000s – Back to Wicklow, Ireland and the busy home of the Craig family and the Huntersbrook estate.

Huntersbrook house in Wicklow Ireland, is the the country estate you will want to visit. The cover shows it in its charming winter setting and as you open the cover and walk inside, the buzz of the places comes to life in exquisite detail.

It has a gate lodge, the two bed bungalow to the right of the entrance which reminds Pippa of the cottage from the novel Hansel and Gretel. Drive up the gravel pa
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing

‘The Heart of Winter’ is the second part of ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ by the same author (you can find my post from last year here).
I know Christmas is finished but I hope you are still in Christmas spirits and ready to immerse yourselves in this heartwarming story (the Christmas season is not really finished until 6th January, after all).
If you had read ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ and wanted to know what happened to the Craigs and Huntersbrook, I can
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Craig family, who we first met in “Driving home for Christmas”, have decided that to keep their much loved family home, Huntersbrook, they must turn their former family home into an exclusive countryside function venue.
Extensive renovations and changes have been made to the property and just as the family are making the final preparations, things happen which mean that the house suddenly has to take a back seat.
Will the family be able to pull together to get over this hurdle and get the ho
Sally Coles
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Craig family are back and setting up their beloved family home Huntersbrook as a commercial project for holding functions and weddings so that they can afford to keep it in the family. It means that they all have to work together as a team and forget petty squabbles!

There are three siblings Pippa is the youngest and more interested in the party scene in Dublin than buckling down and doing some work. Joey is about to be made partner at his firm and working all hours to impress his boss, but
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Emma Hannigan was an Irish author and blogger, best known for writing about her experience of suffering from cancer.

With a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, Hannigan's mother and maternal aunt tested positive for the responsible gene, BRCA1. She also received a 'positive' result in August 2005, which carries an 85% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of ovarian cancer. In 2

Other books in the series

Huntersbrook House (2 books)
  • Driving Home For Christmas

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