The Winter House, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (7 ratings)


When Marnie receives a phone call that summons her to the side of a once-beloved friend, she is wrenched from her orderly London life and sent back into a past from which she has fled but never escaped.Ralph, Marnie and Oliver once knew each other well and are still inextricably bound by ties of love and betrayal.

Now they meet again in Ralph's secluded cottage in the Scottish highlands, to spend the precious days that Ralph has left with each other.As they reminisce, Marnie is taken back to the summer years ago when everything changed between them and heartbreak and desire broke up their little group.

Will Ralph have the chance to say what needs to be said before it's too late? And can they put the devastating events of twenty years ago to rest and rekindle the intimacy they once shared?


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Showing 1 - 5 of 7 reviews.

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Review by

I had read two of Nicci Gerrard’s previous three books and consequently was looking forward to reading The Winter House. 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.A lot of the story looks at their earlier lives and how they became intertwined. It’s quite a slow-burner of a story and on occasions I wished that it would move a little quicker. However, the end had me sobbing and any book that can do that is a winner in my eyes, as I know the story, characters or both have had a profound effect on me.Nicci Gerrard is a very good writer, and she does poignancy particularly well in her novels. With The Winter House, she has produced a book which is moving, and tells of friendship, love (both requited and unrequited), loss and family, and I would definitely recommend it. It’s not what you would call an upbeat story, given that one of the main characters doesn’t have long left to live, but it is certainly a good read.

Review by

The Winter House by Nicci GerrardNicci Gerrard is probably better known for the thrillers that she writes with her husband under the name Nicci French, but she also writes more 'mainstream' fiction under her own name. This book concerns three friends, Marnie, Oliver and Ralph. Marnie is summoned to Ralph's bedside in the dead of winter - Ralph is dying of pancreatic cancer, and doesn't have long to live. Marnie has a history with both men - both men were in love with her, while she pined after Oliver, a misunderstanding had caused them to part, and now they were coming together to look after Ralph in his final days. Quite a sad book (due to the subject matter, obviously), but not overly heavy or depressing. The book's main theme is how childhood events can impact on adult relationships, and also (although it is not exactly a theme), the value of kindness, and of caring for someone. Better than I expected it to be. Recommended.

Review by

The Winter House is a beautifully written book about of 3 friends who reunite after almost 20 years to care for Ralph who is dying, they spend their last days together retelling the story of their friendship. Marnie the main character tells the majority of the tale with Ralphs memories interjecting in thoughts rather than spoken voice. A remote cottage in Scotland provides the backdrop to this heart renching story in which the main characters recall their shared memories of childhood. Their history complicated and intertwined with the summer setting of most of the memories reflecting the hotbed of feelings, emotions and confusion of the characters teenage years. The contrast of the wintery, snowy cottage the characters are in effectively conveys the bleakness of their situation. The cover of the book initially attracted my attention - the deep blue drew me in and I spent some time looking at the picture taking in each detail considering the cold isolation of the cottage and the warmth within. After reading I was struck by how effectively the cover conveys both the main characters. This is a poignient and touching novel which makes you consider your own teenage years, lost or forgotten friendships and all the experiances which are the building blocks of your character. Gerrards writing is exquisitely tender and the characters are warm and believable. A wonderfully haunting book which I adored - highly recommended.

Review by

Found this book really depressing and have to admit I did give up half way through.

Review by

I loved this story. It is the sort of book I would never normally pick up but am glad it turned up in my reading group. It is not about easy subjects and it did make me cry. But to me it expressed the difficult emotions of life and ultimately it was a hopeful book.

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