Elfrida Phipps loves her new life in her pretty Hampshire village.
She has a tiny cottage, her faithful dog Horace and the friendship of the neighbouring Blundells - particularly Oscar - to ensure that her days include companionship as well as independence.
But an unforeseen tragedy upsets Elfrida's tranquillity: Oscar's wife and daughter are killed in a terrible car crash and he finds himself homeless when his stepchildren claim their dead mother's inheritance.
Oscar and Elfrida take refuge in a rambling house in Scotland which becomes a magnet for various waifs and strays who converge upon it, including an unhappy teenage girl.
It could be a recipe for disaster. But somehow the Christmas season weaves its magical spell and for Elfrida and Oscar, in the evening of their lives, the winter solstice brings love and solace.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 720 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 04/07/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780340752487
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by BlackDoll
Ok...Ok. This is my favorite SECRET book. Shhh...
Review by Marliesd
Not as good as her others, but still fine.
Review by ABShepherd
This is a charming, albeit long at nearly 600 pages, novel full of lovable odd characters, a freezing Scottish winter, and lots of friendship and love. There is tragedy and loss, but there is also rebirth and recovery. Life goes on. Circumstances change and much like in real life these characters keep going and try to find their place in things. <br/><br/>Others have criticized Pilcher's moral code with the drunk-driving and infidelity threads in this novel, but I think Pilcher probably feels much like I do - kind of a live and let live attitude. If you love people you don't dwell on their flaws. If I had one criticism of this novel it would be that there are far too many polo-necked sweaters in this book. But that is really neither here nor there and plays no significant part in the storyline.<br/><br/>This is a warm, gentle novel that you will enjoy spending time with. Kind of like a favorite relative.