Bernard MacLaverty (Pdf) Midwinter Break – Epub, Kindle eBook and eBook


summary Midwinter Break

Midwinter Break

A retired couple Gerry and Stella Gil fly from their home in Scotland to Amsterdam for a long weekend a holiday to refresh the senses to do some sightseeing and generally to take stock of what remains of their lives Their relationship seems safe easy familia. Bernard MacLaverty is an Irish author new to me His writing is impeccable and intimate He paints a clear portrait of a retired middle age married coupleHowever although I appreciate the authors understanding of this relationship which we observed up close and personal I didn t actually enjoy the plot or the themes in this novel My own personal beliefs are so very different from both Stella and Gerry I didn t have much empathy for them I ve read many books about married couples young couples aging couplesetc that I have related to This is not one of them Ambivalence between Gerry and Stella embody them as a couple Neither one seems happy yet they are connected at the hip through years of habit and familiarity They are both off in there own heads having their secretive conversations with their own inner voice about one another Their communication skills do not empower each other The independent choices of comforts they each reach for were bleak and gloomy In my opinion drinking and religion both if obsessive can disempower a relationship Gerry liked to drink Stella liked religion Both of their passions were causing harm to their relationship I felt the whole theme around religion and drinking was as as dreary dark and cold as the rainy day in Amsterdam when Gerry and Stella first arrived Flashbacks of a shocking frightening painful experience from years ago explains the troubles that show up in this marriage The characters are believable human with faults and strengthsThere is love loss and resiliencebut I found much of the story dreadful Just personal taste but please note I do think it s beautifully written 35 stars for excellent writing great descriptions a sincere issue this couple needed to grapple with although I HATED THE CHOICES MYSELF AS I PERSONALLY DON T VALUE RELIGION OR DRINKING IN THE WAY THIS COUPLE DID A favorite Plus for me I enjoyed walking through the galleries at the Rijksmuseum There was a painting of The Jewish Bride by Rembrandt Loved it Thank You WW Norton Company Netgalley and Bernard MacLaverty

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R But over the course of the four days we discover the deep uncertainties that exist between them Gerry once an architect is forgetful and set in his ways Stella is tired of his lifestyle worried about their marriage and angry at his constant undermining of. Bernard MacLaverty has written with this book an utterly compelling and disarmingly human novel in which each one of us will see parts of ourselvesI read it during one of my recurrent February doldrums and I have to put down to that fact a resultant inertia and demotivation in its perusalAnd well I saw a bit of my my own sometime cynicism and lack of enthusiasm in this middle aged couple Touch However their tragic aporia in the face of the husband s alcoholism is largely overridden by the beautiful finesse in MacLaverty s evocation of the innate Dutch spirit of place on their getaway and the depth and muted delight with which the bleak remnant of their mutual love still glowsBut it probably is a story with too much emotional anxiety for younger readers unless their mature sensitivity warrants the reading This relationship is at times jarring and icy though without much self knowledge it s little wonderFor self knowledge so often brings new openness to love in its fruitful wake Once its thunderheads of revelation have passedFor when you arrive at the threshold of advanced age you can no longer just go through the motions If your life s real enough at that stage you only see through yourself too easilyI was uite lucky in my own case for the past 21 years have been split roughly in two the first 11 years were a culminative process of self revelation resulting in a 10 year painful process of re alignment with the worldThe male protagonist here badly needs like I needed to re align himself with the world His alcoholism though is preventing the reuisite prelude to that process from starting self knowledge So we re seeing a gradual fade outSo that unconsciously is the situation here especially in the old male protagonist He s not yet inwardly mature enough despite his veneer of worldly cynicism to face the music of his own convictionOr tough enough Encountering your devils is no treat This is a time if ever there was one for a renewal of vision and vigor folksWith the stress of my own burnout my moorings to the world came loose no one can tell you about that vision of hell which comes to the truly ingenuous But that vision must be facedTHAT s how hard it is to be reborn after such a dark eclipse of Goodness as burnout And the soul of the male protagonist of Midwinter Break is now being tipped into its fireWill the couple s unvoiced love pull him throughWell what s so achingly apparent here is the reality of the affection that still mitigates the inner conflict of their lonely life together I keep thinking these these folks only need a little pushAnd isn t that what midwinter breaks are forBut it s the sense of anguish in their mutual distancing that gave me the greatest uneasiness It prevented me from rating this book with a full five stars It s a personal thing The story s atmospheric beauty of description both of middle aged affection and exuisite details of the Amsterdam locale and particularly the scene at the Rijksmuseum as well as its perfectly orchestrated characterization two lives lived from the Inside Out compelled me to give it at the very least a grateful four starsIt s bitter realism may excoriate us but it s a wonderfully written novel written with great elegance and acumen The Illusion of Gods Presence read it during one of my Folk Tales From The Soviet Union recurrent February doldrums and I have to put down to that fact a Not The Hot Chick resultant inertia and demotivation in its perusalAnd well I saw a bit of my my own sometime cynicism and lack of enthusiasm in this middle aged couple Touch However their tragic aporia in the face of the husband s alcoholism is largely overridden by the beautiful finesse in MacLaverty s evocation of the innate Dutch spirit of place on their getaway and the depth and muted delight with which the bleak Pegged and Plugged at the Club remnant of their mutual love still glowsBut it probably is a story with too much emotional anxiety for younger Tunnel Through Time readers unless their mature sensitivity warrants the Game of Bimbofication, Part 3 reading This Game of Bimbofication, Part 2 relationship is at times jarring and icy though without much self knowledge it s little wonderFor self knowledge so often brings new openness to love in its fruitful wake Once its thunderheads of Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions, Vol. 1 of 5 revelation have passedFor when you arrive at the threshold of advanced age you can no longer just go through the motions If your life s The Fatima Century real enough at that stage you only see through yourself too easilyI was uite lucky in my own case for the past 21 years have been split Leah Starrs Revenge roughly in two the first 11 years were a culminative process of self Pieces 8 (Pieces, revelation Time Flies and Other Short Plays resulting in a 10 year painful process of Fall (VIP Book 3) (English Edition) re alignment with the worldThe male protagonist here badly needs like I needed to Drawing Dead (Faolan OConnor Book 1) re align himself with the world His alcoholism though is preventing the Trails & Tales of Yosemite & the Central Sierra reuisite prelude to that process from starting self knowledge So we Chinas Son re seeing a gradual fade outSo that unconsciously is the situation here especially in the old male protagonist He s not yet inwardly mature enough despite his veneer of worldly cynicism to face the music of his own convictionOr tough enough Encountering your devils is no treat This is a time if ever there was one for a Welcome to the Desert of the Real renewal of vision and vigor folksWith the stress of my own burnout my moorings to the world came loose no one can tell you about that vision of hell which comes to the truly ingenuous But that vision must be facedTHAT s how hard it is to be Dead End Bluff reborn after such a dark eclipse of Goodness as burnout And the soul of the male protagonist of Midwinter Break is now being tipped into its fireWill the couple s unvoiced love pull him throughWell what s so achingly apparent here is the King Noah Blindness and the Vision of Seers reality of the affection that still mitigates the inner conflict of their lonely life together I keep thinking these these folks only need a little pushAnd isn t that what midwinter breaks are forBut it s the sense of anguish in their mutual distancing that gave me the greatest uneasiness It prevented me from Factory of Death realism may excoriate us but it s a wonderfully written novel written with great elegance and acumen

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Her religious faith Things are not helped by memories that have begun to resurface of a troubled time in their native Ireland As their midwinter break comes to an end we understand how far apart they are and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves. In every relationship said Stella there s a flower and a gardener One who does the work and one who displaysAt first nothing heralded this book would be such rewarding experience The story about ageing couple seldom seems to have something revealing to offer Gerry and Stella He s a retired architect and university lecturer she used to be a school teacher They come from Ireland though by now they spent uite a chunk of their lives in Scotland They re catholics though Gerry doesn t take it seriously any He also drinks too much while Stella is in search for something that could provide her fulfillment in the last part of her life and lessen sense of emptiness and futility And a few day vacation in Amsterdam during winter season seems to be a longed for occasion Because Stella apart from visiting museums wandering through the city and enjoying leisure days appears to have a plan I truly don t know how MacLaverty did it How from such cliched motives he managed to create something so fresh and not banal at all How from these unrefined ingredients he prepared such an extraordinary feast And I don t know either why the novel so resonated with me Was it because it being well written or perhaps the prevailing factor was my age that made me willing to looking back at what had happened to me and how I handled some stuff or in some cases how I didn t I enjoyed the novel immensely I liked all cultural references to architecture and paintings MacLaverty pointed there and I truly felt for the protagonists By turns I was surprised at times slightly bored or simply amused by their daily rituals yet still I cared for them I was touched by Gerry s protectiveness and could understand Stella s reuirements either I liked it was tender but deprived of sentimentality I would hate to be put in the middle of melodrama Initially I slightly gravitated towards Gerry not because he seemed to me fragile or easier to hurt no not at all rather due to Stella s activities She was so preoccupied with her target so determined and her mind seemed to be perfectly made I thought about Gerry to be relatable and didn t mind his drinking though I could see a problem in the long run From the other hand I didn t share Stella s interests neither her religiousness And yet I felt close to her At first glance the protagonists felt so easy to read and still remained complex and full of contradictions In fact I m still mulling over the fact that the novel on such an unadventurous and trite theme can be so satisfying and inspiring read It takes a true master to convey the story where seemingly nothing happens like pure roller coaster of emotions and feelings


10 thoughts on “Midwinter Break

  1. says:

    Irish born Stella and Gerry are at a crossroads in their lives Approaching their late sixties they no longer share common interests Gerry has his drinking whilst Stella has her religion a faith which has never deserted her even at the lowest point in her life They may not share common interests but they still share intimacies that come from a long marriage from knowing a person as well as you know yourself the way Ger

  2. says:

    This is a profoundly moving and perceptive examination of the anatomy of a long marriage Gerry and Stella Gil are retired now living in Scotl

  3. says:

    Bernard MacLaverty is an Irish author new to me His writing is impeccable and intimate He paints a clear portrait of a re

  4. says:

    Stella and Gerry married for forty years in the retirement years of their life one son one grandson They take a weekend trip leaving Scotland and heading to Amsterdam Gerry thinks it is just for time away change of pace but Stella has other motives a discontent in her life and a spiritual promise made during a time of heartbreaking distress Gerry drinks too much is often dismissive of her faith and Stella wants there to be somet

  5. says:

    This love story about a retired couple is full of paradox It appears uite light but it is surprisingly deep It seems uite ordinary but its impact is extraordinary It is funny and serious a sad book and a happy book at the

  6. says:

    Bernard MacLaverty has written with this book an utterly compelling and disarmingly human novel in which each one of us will see pa

  7. says:

    All Women Marry Beneath ThemselvesLike the Shakers the Beguine movement was an attempt to provide some institutional respite for women in a world dominated by men their narcissistic violence and chronically inadeuate women’s toilet facilities The Begijnhof in Amsterdam is a vestige of this movement which is probably no less necessary today

  8. says:

    In every relationship’ said Stella ‘there’s a flower and a gardener One who does the work and one who displaysAt first nothing heralded this book would be such rewarding experience The story about ageing couple seldo

  9. says:

    The family is raised the work’s done That can’t be it can it? There’s ten or twenty years left over as it were We’ve cut the life of our cloth wrongly It doesn’t fit I have a sense of drift I want to do something with the time I have left Other than watch you drink This book is the story of a midwinter break taken in Amsterdam by a retired couple Gerry and Stella – Gerry and Stella are a Northern

  10. says:

    Mac Laverty is a writer of gorgeous prose and deeply thoughtful novels His latest novel strengthens his reputation as an exceptional writer Stella and Gerry are a retired couple in their 70’s Mac Laverty spreads details about their lives throughout the book rather than giving them to the reader upfront They now live i

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