A Guardian / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Herald Scotland / Mail on Sunday Book of the Year
Winner of the Bord Gáis Novel of the Year
‘Midwinter Break is a work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy, about coming to terms – to an honest reckoning – with love and the loss of love, with memory and pain...this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers’ Colm Tóibín
A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly to Amsterdam for a midwinter break. A holiday to refresh the senses, to see the sights and to generally take stock of what remains of their lives. But amongst the wintry streets and icy canals we see their relationship fracturing beneath the surface. And when memories re-emerge of a troubled time in their native Ireland things begin to fall apart. 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.
Its portrayal of the tightening vice of alcohol addiction is unparalleled. But its profound exploration of its love, companionship, faith, work and our search for meaning in life made it a tender masterpiece, and one of the year’s essential reads.
MacLaverty doesn’t publish novels very often but when he does they are outstanding.
A gem of a novel.
Alive with utterly convincing actuality, this affecting, funny and acute book is a triumph of quiet masterliness.
It's an immersive and astonishing book.
We’ve gathered some of our favourite contemporary Irish love stories for you to curl up with. Whether you’re looking for family drama, or timeless love, we’ve got the perfect book.
Miracles come in all sizes in this intense exploration of love and uncertainty during a midwinter break in Amsterdam