5/3/11

Lisa Burgett reading Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher Narrator Lisa Burgett 

         
Winter Solstice
Rosamunde Pilcher
Narrator: Lisa Burgett
Books on Tape
17 hours 4 minutes


Rosamunde Pilcher Author of Winter Solstice a cozy romance
Rosamunde Pilcher Author


Lisa Burgett Narrator
Lisa Burgett Narrator

Lisa Burgett has a pleasant mid-range voice so starting from mid-range she easily raises and changes voices for the female characters and a lower tone for the males. I like her mellow British accent. She does a nice Scottish and Irish accent also. At least to my American ears it sounds very good. Lisa Burgett really does add a lot of embodiment to the characters. There are a large number of characters in Winter Solstice and Lisa Burgett manages to cover all of their age groups and personalities. She is such an exceptional reader that I can darn near hear the dog barking and banging his body against the door.

If you are not familiar with Rosamunde Pilcher's books you are in for a rare treat. If you like Tara Road type stories you will like Pilcher. You might need a box of tissues near at hand if you're a very sensitive type. In Winter Solstice, Elfrida Phipps in her early 60's and a retired actress of no great fame, moves from London to Hampshire and buys a small cottage. Acquires a medium sized dog from the shelter and calls him Horace.

Neighbors Oscar and Gloria Blundell  befriend her and introduce her around town and invite her to their parties. Oscar and Gloria live in Gloria's family home with their 12 year old daughter Francesca a product of an earlier encounter between them, and a couple of pooches. Gloria is a bit of a drinker and much younger than Oscar but they have an enjoyable life in Hampshire. Elfrida is immediately drawn to Oscar finding him fun and intelligent company.

She sensibly decides to visit a relative for a month, during the time she's gone, Gloria, Francesca and the two dogs are killed in a horrible traffic accident. Elfrida has heard nothing of this not having read any newspapers during her vacation. She only learns of it when she returns to Hampshire. While Oscar is devastated and mourning his losses. Gloria's son's from a previous marriage tell Oscar they are selling the house. Oscar is in no state financially or emotionally to make a move so Elfrida and an uncle of Oscar's rally and try to think of solutions.

Elfrida finally persuades Oscar to move into the now vacated home in Corrydale, Scotland that he and his cousin own. Oscar is hesitant about driving himself that far alone and setting up housekeeping and essentially a new life. He then convinces Elfrida to go with him and share the driving. Elfrida being a spontaneous person says yes and closes up her cottage, packs a few things and off she, Horace and Oscar go to Corrydale. The house in Corrydale is a lovely large home and the two of them settle into a pleasant routine quickly.

Christmas is not far off and they were not planning to do much but Elfrida's beautiful cousin Carrie who has returned from Austria to London, calls Alfrida and asks if she and Lucy can spend the holidays with her. She found that her niece Lucy is unhappy and leading a very narrow life for a teenager. With a mother who is running off to the States for the holidays and a grandmother who doesn't want to be bothered with her. Lucy a sweet tempered girl is anxious to go to visit Alfrida and Oscar and is elated when Alfrida agrees to have them.

With the cleverness only found in novels a new character is introduced by way of Sam Howard who's transferred from New York to England to restructure a dying woolen factory in Buckley a town near Corrydale. When Sam arrives in England he stays with Neil and Janey, friends from his earlier years in England. They invite Oscars cousin Huey to dinner. Over drinks Huey mentions he's selling his house in Corrydale provided he can get hold of his cousin Oscar.

Huey has not heard about the tragedy that struck Oscar or know that Oscar and Elfrida have moved into the house. Huey tells him he can look it over and see if he's interested in buying it. Sam takes the key and agrees, understanding it will have to meet approval of Oscar for selling his half of the house. Sam is eager settle in and thinks if the house is halfway decent it might work out well for him as he needs something near enough to commute to Buckley.
Sam, as planned, later leaves London for Corrydale and arrives at the house late, it's been snowing heavily, he sees lights on and it looks very much lived in. Curious he knocks on the door and Carrie opens it. Everyone else is out but she had a bout with the flu and is staying closer to home till completely cured. So the sophisticated Sam meets the beautiful Carrie. She invites him in so he can explain why he has the key. They seem to really hit it off but Carrie is nursing her wounded heart from a failed love affair with a married man and Sam is in the first stages of his divorce so both are cautious.

When the others start arriving home and meeting Sam they all like him and agree that Carrie was right in asking Sam to spend the night as the storm had all the roads closed and during the winter no hotels or Inns were open. Sam tells Oscar about his meeting with Huey and returns the key to Oscar. Oscar is upset that Huey wants to sell, and once again he'd be homeless. Oscar and Elfrida love the house and the life they have carved out for themselves. Oscar can't afford to pay off Huey for his half of the house and can't abide taking out a mortgage at his age. Huey is off to Nice, France. Leaving Oscar unable to contact him.

Sam stays around Corrydale and friendship blooms between him and Carrie. Lucy has her own budding romance with the preachers son. There are three different generations with romances going on. Even a wonderful dog that is a much loved part of the family, adds to the ambiance of this homey story. Rosamnunde Pilcher writes in a cozy, warm fuzzy way and develops the characters so that you really can picture them. The story is rampant with ambiance and sentiment. You will feel like you know each person yourself. There is no lacking of content in this book. I found it a satisfying read. I loved this book. Lisa Burgett, did a wonderful narration, enhancing every part of the book from beginning to end.
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