Elfrida Phipps and Oscar Blundell intend to celebrate the Christmas Season very simply after moving to Sutherland in the north of Scotland in November. Oscar has recently lost his wife and daughter in a motor accident and has been evicted by his stepsons who wish to sell their mother's house as quickly as possible. Oscar has a half-share in an estate house in Scotland which he is told by his uncle is standing empty. He asks his neighbour Elfrida to accompany him and as she doesn't think he is able to cope on his own, she does. Their plans for a quiet winter solstice are altered when Carrie, the daughter of Elfrida's cousin, and her niece, Lucy, having nowhere to spend Christmas ask if they can come. The fifth member of the party is Sam Howard, who also has nowhere to go and no way of getting there being snowed in and unable even to reach his hotel. The story, like all Pilcher's work is extremely readable with characters that really come alive.
This report prepared by Penny
When Elfrida Philips abandons London for a quaint country village, she settles in quickly. She is very poor, but has a tiny cottage, her four-legged friend Horace, and friendships of good neighbors, Oscar, Gloria, and their little girl.
Tragedy upsets her newfound tranquillity, and she takes refuge in a rambling house with a new gentleman friend in Corrydale. Like a magnet, Corrydale attracts various waifs and strays, each of them escaping difficult personal pasts. As the holidays come aroundand the weather turns foul, the scene seems set as a perfect recipe for disaster.
But the group proves to be greater than the sum of its ill-fitting parts, and as the solstice passes, and as Christmas approaches, the healing power of love, even on the most troubled human spirit, begins to work its magic.
This report prepared by Boppy