Thursday 20 October 2022

Winter People by Gráinne Murphy BLOG TOUR @GraMurphy #WinterPeople @Legend_Times_ #BookReview


The wild Atlantic coast of Ireland.

Three strangers.

One question: who are we without the people who love us?

Sis Cotter has lived her whole life in a small house by her beloved beach. Here, she grew up, reared her family, and buried her husband. Now her children are far away and, in three days, her house will be taken from her.

Next door, Lydia has withdrawn from her husband, her friends, her life. She watches the sea as her own private penance for a wrong she can never put right.

Peter’s best friend is dying, and his long-time foster mother is slowly forgetting who he is. Adrift without his two anchors, and struggling with the ethics of displacing people for a living, he looks for something to remind him of who he is and who he wants to be.

Winter People is a story of forgiveness, resilience, and the power of the sea to unlock what we are most afraid to say.

Winter People by Gráinne Murphy was published on 12 October 2022 by Legend Press. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour. 

I read and reviewed Where The Edge Is by Gráinne Murphy (also published by Legend Press) a couple of years ago and loved it so very much. I was delighted to be offered a pre-publication of this, her latest novel by the publisher.

A short novel at around 260 pages, this is a story that tears at the heart. It is quite incredible how this author can create such beauty from such sadness and pain, yet she does, on every page. The words of lyrical and wonderfully woven, the characters are complex, sometimes flawed, often bitter and always a joy to discover, This really is some of the finest story telling that I've come across for years. 

The three lead characters tell their own stories, we hear their voices, their innermost thoughts, their doubts and their regrets. Sis, Lydia and Peter do not have much to be joyful about, and whilst they are not really know to one another, their lives are linked by circumstance, and by the wonderfully described landscape of the are in which they live. I do have to mention the incredible portrayal of the wild Atlantic coastline of Ireland, for this adds so much to the story; the burden of the ever changing and uncontrollable weather adds to the personal struggles of each character and it is done with such style and ease. 

Sis Cotter has lived in her cottage by the beach for many many years. Alone now, with just her dog for company, her children are scattered through the world, her husband is dead. Sis had a long marriage, but the legacy of her husband's behaviour means that her twilight years will not be as she had hoped. Her children are abrupt and appear uncaring, with her daughters holding grudges about their childhood and her son is such a disappointment. 

Lydia is a young woman in the Blue House nearby to Sis. Lydia does not leave the house, her only contact with the outside world are regular, difficult phone calls with her mother, long and silent calls to her estranged husband and the deliveries of prescriptions and groceries from the nearby town. As Lydia's story progresses, the reader learns about her overwhelming feelings of guilt, and how she hates herself. We are witness to her thoughts and what she would like to say to Mary; a woman whose life Lydia has altered for ever. 

Peter is possibly the quietest of the characters, yet the story of his background is so very powerful. As he goes to work each day, removing people from the homes that they've lost, he thinks about his own early years, and how he came to find a home. Peter's best friend is dying, yet he struggles to know how to deal with this, he cannot bring himself to phone, or to visit. Berating himself throughout the story, yet eventually doing what he knows is for the best. 

Three wonderfully created characters with voices that are unique and realistic, in a setting that conjures up amazing imagery and adds such depth to the whole novel. 

This is a stunning, tender and compassionate story that will stay with me for a long time. 

Gráinne grew up in rural west Cork, Ireland. 

At university she studied Applied Psychology and Forensic Research. 

In 2011 she moved with her family to Brussels for 5 years. 

She has now returned to West Cork, working as a self-employed language editor specialising in human rights and environmental issues. 

Twitter: @GraMurphy 

IG: @gramurphywriter

No comments:

Post a Comment