Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Winter's Tale” as Want to Read:
A Winter's Tale
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Winter's Tale

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,035 ratings  ·  199 reviews
A charming romantic comedy about a hard-up single mum inheriting a stately home – and a host of headaches – The perfect novel for curling up with during the long winter nights.

Sophy Winter is not your typical Lady of the Manor… When she unexpectedly inherits Winter's End - a crumbling mansion in the beautiful Lancashire countryside - it seems like all Sophy's prayers have
Paperback, 405 pages
Published 2008 by Avon
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Winter's Tale, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Winter's Tale

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,035 ratings  ·  199 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Winter's Tale
Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page)
I'm very surprised with all of the high ratings that this book has. I found A Winter's Tale incredibly dull and unexciting. Whilst the idea was good, a lot more could have been done with the plot - nothing seemed to happen that made me want to read on - it took a lot of effort not to give up on this book completely. I found that the narrative was very well written but my main issue was that I could not connect with any of the characters, they weren't formed well enough and as I've already mentio ...more
Love Fool
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
A charming romantic comedy about a hard-up single mum inheriting a stately home – and a host of headaches. Sophy Winter is not your typical Lady of the Manor….When she unexpectedly inherits Winter's End - a crumbling mansion in the beautiful Lancashire countryside - it seems like all Sophy's prayers have been answered. She eagerly swaps life as an impoverished housekeeper in favour of her own team of staff. But Sophy quickly realises the challenge on her hands - the house is decrepit and its ecc ...more
Jacob Proffitt
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, chaste
Enjoyable, but not my favorite by Trisha Ashley. Sophy and Seth spend so much time completely clueless about each other that I had a hard time simply enjoying the rest of the story. And the rest of the cast is more mundane than I'm used to in her books—less magical, but also less wacky or (lovably) goofy. Seth is brooding (which prompts a hilarious reference to Cold Comfort Farm but is otherwise simply . . . broody). Sophy is determined. Yes, you see them enjoy themselves together, mostly bicker ...more
The concept of the story was good, the execution of it, however, left much to be desired.

Sophy was annoyingly proper with characters that didn't deserve her kindness, she was also even more annoyingly clueless about some things but rather on the ball with others - no consistency in her character.

The fact that Sophy and the rest of the family just let slide the behaviors and actions of Jack was increasingly frustrating throughout the book, and then in the end when they once again let everything
Nhi Nguyễn
Imagine you suddenly came to know that you have inherited a big but crumbling mansion in the beautiful Lancashire countryside, what would you do? That’s exactly what happened to Sophy Winter - a struggling single mom who for her whole adult life had been living away from her Winter family - when she was told by her distant cousin Jack Lewis that she, at the age of around 40, had inherited Winter’s End - the family’s mansion.

The premise of the book was so catchy and enthralling, when we have a m
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
With all the crime dramas I watch and horrible events of the world I was in the mood for reading something light before turning off the lights. I liked the premise of a poor relation inheriting a rich uncle’s rather run down mansion and how she would turn it around to be able to keep it. It’s pure modern day light British chick flick fiction, and I have to admit three quarters of the way in I skipped to the end as it was pretty predictable. Still, it did the trick to turn my mind off and it was ...more
Lynn Spencer
Aug 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
3.5 stars I really struggled with how to rate this book. Parts of it really are fresh, humorous and fun. But the flaws? Oh my goodness, the flaws are glaring!

A Winter's Tale isn't so much a romance(though there are some romantic bits to it) as it is the story of a heroine getting a fresh start in life and discovering resources she never knew she had. That heroine, fortyish Sophy Winter, is by no means perfect but I did find her endearing. She survived childhood with a drug-addled and neglectful
Annabel Krantz
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This wintery novel is an excellent example of the best kind of chick lit. All the required elements are there; a heroine undergoing a transformation (be it in life, appearance, location...), an ounce of mystery, an unlikely love interest, some crazy family members, and a plot that offers something unique and different to the thousands of other chick lit novels out there. Trisha Ashley's tale of Sophy Winter and her sudden inheritance of a stately home in the English countryside is a fantastic re ...more
Claire Simpson
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book in an afternoon. There's something about Ashley that I really like, her writing is relaxed and comfortable, and she maked you care about the places as much as the characters. I find her settings are always wonderful, and in this case the gorgeous house was perfect. I loved the diary extracts throughout it, which gave the whole story a different, slightly darker feel. And as always the minor characters were the best - from the hippy mother (a theme in Ashelys work?) to the crazy ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I failed to see this as romcom. This book mostly about how to fix a house, a garden and estate financial, there is hardly romance. And comedy? Did I miss something?

Anyway, I'm getting tired of a heroine that cannot stand up for herself and let others walk all over them.
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
An easy, enjoyable read!

The cover is slightly misleading as 'Winter' refers to the surname of the family rather than the time of year!
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
*Special Content only on my blog, Strange and Random Happenstance during Downton Denial (February 2016)

Sophy Winter spent her formative years living in her family's stately home, Winter's End, until she was one day whisked away by her hippie mother without a backward glance. Her life then took on an itinerant feel, never really settling down until she got married and got pregnant. The pregnancy scared the husband off and she made do as a single mother working in great estates like the one she gr
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I finished this book in 3 days, a record feat for me considering how busy I am always. It also helped that this book was so lighthearted, so relaxing to read.

In a nutshell, the story is about a 30 something woman named Sophy Winter and how suddenly, she became the heiress to her ancestral home. I am always dreaming of being the sudden recipient of vast wealth from a long lost relative (in Sophy's case it was her maternal grandfather) so right off the bat, I was in love with the concept.

I loved t
Mar 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Sometimes I read books and I really can't understand how they can get through the editing and publishing process and still end up in the state they're in.

The plot was fairly interesting and the write used some good devices to keep the reader hooked. The references to an Elizabethan legacy and hidden secrets were intriguing. The setting felt like something new and interesting. But it was let down on so many other levels.

I have many a gripe with the writing style and characterisation. It's in the
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have lost count of the number of times I have read this book. I only picked it up as I wanted something familiar to offset a rambunctious thriller that I was reading that required down time every 50 pages or so. Well, that didn't work out too well because this little beauty kept me awake for 2 or 3 hours longer than I should have been thanks to "One more chapter won't hurt".

Yet again Trisha Ashley brings us a range of deeply human and believable characters that live off the page and I am prett
Oct 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
A charming romantic comedy about a hard-up single mum inheriting a stately home - and a host of headaches - The perfect novel for curling up with during the long winter nights. Sophy Winter is not your typical Lady of the Manor!. When she unexpectedly inherits Winter's End - a crumbling mansion in the beautiful Lancashire countryside - it seems like all Sophy's prayers have been answered. She eagerly swaps life as an impoverished housekeeper in favour of her own team of staff. But Sophy quickly ...more
Jan 09, 2012 rated it liked it
A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley will be of interest to those liking a read about garden restoration, old medieval houses, Shakespeare, witchcraft or just light romance.

Sophy Winter has just been displaced after her job as housekeeper and PA to a lady in a large country estate in Scotland ends only to find she has inherited her own grandfather's country house Winter's End. Her grandfather had placed the estate in debt and allowed the house to deteriorate as he fulfilled his passion to restore th
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! I truly enjoyed the locale, the characters, the story, and the entire book. I definitely plan to read more Trisha Ashley books too!

Sophy Winter unexpectedly inherits Winter's End – a crumbling mansion in the beautiful Lancashire countryside. It seemed fortuitous as she had just lost her job and a place to live. The house needs many renovations and is inhabited by some family members and other connections, many of whom were more than slightly eccentric.

This is complicated by cou
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was first of any winter stories or Christmas stories I have read. I absolutely loved the ending, couldn't have been more perfect! I have to admit, the characters were so realistically portrayed that I searched for evidences to know whether its based on a true story or not! I didn't find any, of course, but its not stopping me to believe that this could be a true story. The only thing I didn't find appealing? Jack, and Sophy's attraction to him in the beginning. And the way they story was dr ...more
N.W. Moors
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sophy Winter unexpectedly inherits an old mansion in the English countryside. Since she's been working as a housekeeper, she sets to right away to put the place in order. She butts heads with Seth, her head gardener, who's convinced money should be spent on the grounds, not the house. There's also Jack, who expected to inherit and hopes to charm Sophy out of the place.
Like other of Ms. Ashley's books, there's a secondary mystery regarding Shakespeare which fits in perfectly with the book title
I’ve read book by Trisha Ashley before and I love it. It’s enjoyable and I had so much fun reading it. It’s definitely the same with this one. It’s a perfect read during this winter time. I took a longer time reading this, taking it during my winter trip and finally had the chance finishing this. I love the setting, I love the determination of the main character, Sophy Winter. I love the mystery, the history behind her family’s story. If anyone is looking for a light reading this winter, this is ...more
Kerry Henderson
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sophy learns that she has inherited her old family estate Winters End. Suddenly it looks as if her fortunes are changing but her cousin believes it's his. She makes her way home and is full of plans to make it work and pay. Can she find a way to work with her grumpy gardener and aunts to make a success of the house.

This was a very sweet story. It's a slow burner but I enjoyed all the details as it built up. The ending of course was perfect and a little predictable but I loved it anyway. Cant be
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the isea of this book. Sophy inherits her grandfather's grand house and decides to keep it and upgrade the house and facilities to bring in visitors. Add in her cousin who thinks it should have been hers and the head gardener who wants the gardens finished. Oh yes and a voice from the past, her ancestor, white witch Alys. Sounded great and it was a pleasant enough romance, a bit predictable. Trisha has done her research and Sophy, Hebe and Ottie in particular are great but the tale lacke ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review is probably just the same as all my other reviews of Ashley's books (but at least it shows consistency on both our parts!) Once again it's a lovely romantic comedy that leaves you with a nice warm feeling inside. There's no great surprises, & you know where everything & every ones headed but following the journey is enjoyable, &, as the blurb says it's "..guaranteed to thaw the coldest of hearts!"
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, own-ibooks, 2017
I’ve got to lay off the Chick Lit for a while.

I was looking for a light wintry read and I suppose this is that. But it promised a romantic comedy. If your sleazy distant cousin trying to woo you into selling him the stately home you inherited by not listening to you (ever), being a drunk, and by being completely obnoxious is your idea of comedy, I suppose this is a romcom?

The story is fine. The chapters focused on what it would take to turn a profit today running an English estate are enjoyable.
I finished it without dragging my feet too much, but my overall impression was "meh". Considering that this was advertised as a "festive holiday" tale, there was very little in it that was festive or holiday. The main topics are restoring an old house, a history of witchcraft, and Shakespeare.

I'll get it out of the way - The pacing was bad. The first half of the book is slooooow set-up and the last half is rambling plot and problem resolution. Some problems take chapters longer than needed and o
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Alys Blezzard, the mysterious witch descending from the Nutters, appears profusely more dazzling character when she was shrouded in mystery than she was revealed. Her tailpieces like "I am not yet seventeen - how brief was day of dancing in the sunlight!" stand in sharp contrast to her 21st century descendant Sophy's comparatively long and adventurous life. Alys had lived more in those 17 years than those who carry forward her secrets.
Or is it that Shakespeare's dark lady, if she was one, had g
Dec 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: geeky-fun-light

Ashley took a rather excellent theme and ploughed it into the ground, reminiscent of a badly written novel by a beginning writer. Too much trivia, too little character development, and no suspense for the final reveal.

The story isn't helped by a protagonist who doesn't engage the reader ~ Sophy’s blind naiveté in repeatedly succumbing to the smarmy villain of the piece reduced this narrative to an unexciting slog. The author’s writing is competent in the opening chapters, so it was surprising th
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
What a mess! It had all the right ingredients: a stately home, single mom and a hodge podge of a supporting cast. Normally this would be catnip for me, but first off I never warmed to Sophy who inherited the family estate though she had been estranged from her grandfather for thirty years. I hated the Mel, Jack and Seth triangle with was just stupid. The mystery around Alys was creative and interesting, but Sophy's "love" for Jack and her blindness to his villainy was ridiculous. I didn't believ ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
The back story is better than the main story and I wish this had been developed more that the bland romantic theme of the book. The actual romance, as well as some of the characters, was a bit shallow. The writing style was easy, the plot romped along, and there was lots to like in the book but the romance lacked edge. I wish the secret had come earlier in the book rather than at the end. Some scenes were repetitive and the main character became annoying. Some of the dialogue was also very, very ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Villa of Dreams
  • A House by the Sea
  • Christmas at Lock Keeper's Cottage
  • Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea (Little Wedding Shop by the Sea, #5)
  • Starting Over at Acorn Cottage
  • The Winter Garden
  • Finding Love at the Christmas Market
  • Secrets at the Last House Before the Sea (Heaven's Cove, #1)
  • Late Summer in the Vineyard
  • The Lake House (Love Heart Lane #5)
  • One Family Christmas
  • Just for Christmas
  • A Winter Beneath the Stars
  • Summer at the Cornish Cafe (The Penwith Trilogy #1)
  • A Perfect Cornish Christmas
  • Christmas Wishes on Sunflower Street (Sunflower Street #4)
  • One More for Christmas
  • Christmas at Aunt Elsie's: a delightfully festive, feel-good romance and the perfect Christmas treat.
See similar books…
Trisha Ashley is now a full-time novelist, but she has been known to work for stained glass makers and/or plumbers. She likes to paint, eat, drink, and read literary biographies. Her previous hobbies included getting divorced and packing to move. She claims to have once actually eaten Bronte burgers at the Branwell café, but her publisher declines to verify this. She lives in North Wales.

News & Interviews

Nature, in Her infinite awesomeness, can provide solace even when you’re stuck in the house. As a matter of fact, the numbers suggest that...
63 likes · 8 comments