Any reader who has ever fallen in love with a house will understand the attraction of Moorgate, a light-and-fresh-air-filled old farmhouse on the edge of the moor in Cornwall. The enchanting house now belongs to seventy-something Maudie Todhunter, the late Lord Todhunter's free-spirited second wife. (The first wife, Hilda, was supposedly a paragon of virtue, and Maudie has always felt second-best.) The light of Maudie's life is her vivacious stepgranddaughter, Posy, who begs Maudie to board a giant English mastiff whom Posy's mean-spirited mother has banned from the house. (The large and ungainly Polonius is an impossibly lovable canine who outshines Lassie by a mile and is destined to become a favorite of readers worldwide.)
When Maudie decides to sell Moorgate, all kinds of old family secrets come to light, and so the saga begins. Along the way, Rob, the contractor of Moorhouse, falls in love with a woman who has a sad secret. Posy's father falls in love with someone kinder than his shrewish wife. Maudie must reevaluate someone she'd fallen in love with years ago. And as the connections intertwine between the past and the present, many unexpected alliances form.
Vivid, lushly written, and entirely unforgettable, this all-absorbing novel provides the kind of abundant reading experience that will leave readers eagerly looking forward to more from this newly discovered and superbly talented author. A Week in Winter achieves a combined richness of character and circumstance that raises it above most modern contemporary fiction, and Marcia Willett is a writer to discover and to celebrate.