Title: Midwinter Break
Author: Bernard MacLaverty
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
The Twilight Years
An older married Irish couple on holiday in Amsterdam comes to terms with a solidifying moment in time and an experience that bound them in ways that could not be foreseen.
Gerry is a retired academician whose drinking has turned into exercises in deception. He loves his wife Stella but no longer knows how to relate to her. Desperately afraid of losing her, Gerry ends up loses himself.
Stella’s near death experience many years before is mysteriously alluded to throughout the story until we finally learn what happened at the end of the book. This experience has shaped her life and she is painfully aware of her time left and the promise she made to do something spiritually meaningful with her life.
The trip itself is not what it initially seems as Stella, the planner, has a somewhat ulterior motive in visiting Amsterdam. Lines are drawn and at this point in time both Gerry and Stella must face their deepest fears and decide whether they want to go on living together or apart.
Told with sensitivity and poignancy, Midwinter Break is a realistic look into a decades long marriage on the rocks. It was slow however deeply moving. Perhaps not appreciated until a certain stage in life, it is a recommended to anyone in a long term relationship or who has been batted around by life simply by way of living it for so long.
BRB Rating: Read It.