Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Wintering by Derek Johns


Somerset,  around 1958, and here is recently bankrupt Jim;  desperately sorry for himself, having lost the business, the house, its contents and the car.  He and his wife Margaret, and two children, Billy and Sarah, are living in a farm cottage with hardly anything in it, their only entertainment a radio which Margaret managed to hide from the receivers.  School is the village school,  not like the big school in the big town at all, and Jim has to cycle 4 miles each way to Wells for work (a non-position offered by his wife's uncle)  and is trying to stay on the straight and narrow.  The waitress at the local cafe catches his attention........  The people they meet, those who help and those who don't, from the seedy Towker to the eccentric Leonora with her dirty house and 32 cats, are described here quietly and beautifully. 
This is truly a little gem where less is more.  Not a word wasted, and yet you feel and see and experience all the feelings described.  Not for those who enjoy being frightened or thrilled, but a definite must read for those who love a well written novel.  Less than 200 pages and a joy to read.
(copy of Amazon review)

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