Sunday 23 October 2022

BLOG TOUR: Winter People - Gráinne Murphy

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Next door, Lydia has withdrawn from her husband, her friends, her life.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.

What did I think?

Winter People is a literary feast for the eyes; it's so beautifully written with calm, gentle and soothing prose that reminded me of small waves lapping the shore.  The cover itself perfectly encapsulates the keen sense of place that is evident throughout the novel and I could look at this gorgeous artwork for hours.

There are three characters: Sis, Lydia and Peter, and three parts to the book: Storm, Sea and Sky.  I loved the layout of the three parts that brought the coastal atmosphere to the front of my mind and the long chapters that allowed me to really get to know the characters.  Each character has their own demon to face and Gráinne Murphy explores this sensitively and exquisitely.

This novel may be described as a slow burn but that's the best way to fully appreciate the sublime writing.  The cover of the novel mentions three days, three strangers, one question but I have to say that I wouldn't have been able to tell you what the question was if it wasn't in the blurb.  I think perhaps it's there if you look for it but I was carried away with the rhythm of the prose and simply enjoyed the beautiful writing.

Beautifully written, Winter People is a wonderful literary novel that should be savoured rather than devoured.  Gráinne Murphy is an author to watch and Winter People has the feel of a classic novel that will be enjoyed for generations.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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