Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

Winter Solstice cover

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher was first published in 2000 and it was the last book that she wrote as she retired from writing then although she lived for for quite a few years after that.

I’ve read quite a few of Rosamunde Pilcher’s books and I suppose they come under the category of comfort read, although in this one there is a tragedy, but it doesn’t involve any characters that the reader gets very involved with.

Elfrida has retired and moved from London to a small cottage in Hampshire where she intends to supplement her income by making cushions and home furnishings and selling them on to a posh London shop. She makes a good job of settling into her new life and making good friends in the area, she has a gorgeous rescue dog called Horace as a companion, but there’s no doubt that the one person who is most important to Elfrida is her neighbour Oscar, but he’s already married with a young daughter.

Circumstances lead to Oscar having to move back to the north of Scotland where he had been brought up and Elfrida gives up her comfortable life to join him there, and so begins a sort of tour of various houses in that area. In fact I felt that it was a bit like reading one of those glossy homes magazines. Some of the properties mentioned were definitely in need of refurbishment and others were very desireable indeed.

I feel that Pilcher had decided to modernise her writing a bit for the new millenium. One of the main characters is a woman who has had a long term affair with a married man and it has come to an end. I can’t be sure, because it’s quite a while since I read any other Rosamunde Pilcher books but I don’t think she had previously had a main character who had had an affair with a married man. I think in most romances a woman like that would have been seen as a bit of a wicked witch and not the main character.

In fact towards the end of this book something happens (you know me, I don’t want to say too much) and probably a lot of people would think that it is just too unlikely but – hold on to your hats girls – some husbands/widowers DO replace their wives after only a couple of months of their death, well they do in Kirkcaldy anyway. I know, I have said too much! Anyway, Winter Solstice is an enjoyable jaunt from Hampshire via London and on up to the wilds of Creagan which is north of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, and you can go on a tour of the places mentioned in the book, have a look here if you’re interested. There’s romance a-plenty too.

You can see some images of Creagan here.

I read this one for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2016 and also for the Read Scotland 2016 Challenge

10 thoughts on “Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

  1. I have enjoyed many of Pilcher’s books including Winter Solstice, but I hadn’t realized just how different it was from her earlier books. Interesting ideas to think about. Makes me want to read it again. Shell Seekers is still my favorite of hers, and I seek out her books when I want to read something lighter but not fluffy. Of course, I love the descriptions of the settings especially in Scotland. Would love to tour some of those areas someday.


  2. It’s been a while since I read any of her books but I always enjoyed them. I once picked up a novel by her son (Robin I think) and couldn’t get on with it at all. Same genre, same settings – but not right! I might look out Winter Solstice for the early months of next year. It’s good to have a little cosy reading matter for the dark days and long evenings 🙂

    • Sandra,
      I also read one of his books and quite enjoyed it as I recall but I haven’t read any others so far so it can’t have been that good! I enjoy her Cornish setting books just as much as the Scottish ones.

  3. How wonderful to see so many different photos of Creagan. I can picture the action more thoroughly now. I’ve about 80 pages to go and will be posting my review soon.

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