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The Copper Beech/A Week in Winter

Maeve Binchy

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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Adult & contemporary romance, Sagas

Omnibus edition of No.1 bestseller Maeve Binchy's most loved novels.

Shancarrig School stands in the shade of a glorious old copper beech whose colours tell the passing of the seasons and the years: a tree that has watched over many young lives . . .

Under Junior Assistant Mistress Maddy Ross's careful gaze the children play. There's Maura Brennan, a bundle of fun from the rough end of town, and leap year baby Eddie Barton, the apple of his mother's eye. Then there's Nessa Ryan, who little realises as she carves a name at the roots of the copper beech on the very last day of school, that she'll get a lot more from one of her schoolmates than her first shy kiss.

Set high on the cliffs on the west coast of Ireland, overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean, is Stone House. Once falling into disrepair, it is now a beautiful hotel specialising in winter holidays - and provides a welcome few can resist, whatever their reasons for coming.

Henry and Nicola are burdened with a terrible secret, and are hoping the break at Stone House will help them find a way to face the future. Winnie, generally one to make the best of things, finds herself on the holiday from hell. Then there's the silent, watchful Nell, who seems so ready to disapprove. But looks can be deceptive . . .

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Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012.

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