Books by Rosamunde Pilcher

WINTER SOLSTICE by Rosamunde Pilcher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"Tea? (Literary Guild main selection/Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection)"
The enduringly popular Pilcher (Coming Home, 1995, etc.) holds fast to a theme that has all but disappeared from American fiction: the healing comforts of domesticity and companionship. As winter sets in, an old estate in rural Scotland becomes a temporary home to an unlikely assemblage: Elfrida Phipps, a gently eccentric former actress; her friend Oscar Blundell, a dedicated musician and recent widower; Elfrida's distant relation, Carrie Sutton, an independent young woman recovering from the heartbreak of a failed love affair with a married man; teenaged Lucy, Carrie's quiet niece, who yearns to escape from her grandmother's London flat; and Sam Howard, a handsome textile-company executive whose American wife has just left him. As always, Pilcher is a sensible fairy godmother, bestowing happy endings upon the worthy and heartsick, while keeping the less agreeable characters on the other side of the Atlantic, where they evidently belong. The damp charms of the Scottish countryside are tenderly described; and the author's remarkably evocative sense of place and watercolorist's eye for muted detail help distract from the usual contrivances of a Pilcher plot (the unexpected legacy, the valuable heirloom sold to make a new beginning, etc.). In this little realm, this England, the men are sincere and the tweeds handwoven. Read full book review >
COMING HOME by Rosamunde Pilcher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 5, 1995

Mega-selling Pilcher's very, very long WW II soap: the hardships of the Duration are never far from a restoring cup of China tea and a silver tray of iced cakes. It's 1936 when Pilcher's (September, 1990, etc.) sensible, selfless heroine Judith Dunbara true English roseis separated from her family: Her mother and sister go off to Ceylon to join her father, and Judith, 14, is sent to St. Ursula's girls' school in Cornwall. There, she befriends the rich, madcap Loveday Carey-Lewis and is quickly adopted by her glamorous, likable family. Though Judith is supposed to spend her holidays with her golf-playing Aunt Louise, she quickly finds a happier home at Nancherrow, the Carey- Lewises' luxurious estate on the Cornish coast. Cushioned by cashmere and fine Shetland, befriended by Nettlebed the butler and Mrs. Nettlebed the cook, advised by the Carey Lewises' wise nanny Mary Millywaya veritable Disney film of charming support staffJudith copes with growing up ``alone.'' When Aunt Louise dies in a car crash, though, Judith comes into a considerable fortune of her ownone that enables her to buy the home she, too, has always craved. Finally, after a lot of long walks and Cornish cream teas, WW II begins, and the beautiful young men who decorated the lawns of Nancherrow are wounded, taken prisoner, or killed. Judith, mourning the death of Edward Carey-Lewis, joins the Wrens, the Women's Royal Navy Service. In the service, she has a passionate one-nighter with a Cornish doctor who's not only sensible but knows how to cook a good steak. Though the letter in which he'll later declare his lifelong devotion never reaches Judith, a typical wartime happy ending is ensured. Homily-laden escapist fare with drama that's never as good as the gardening. Flowers are everywhere, even decorating the pages, in Pilcher's sylvan valentine to prewar Cornwall. (First printing of 850,000; $800,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection) Read full book review >
FLOWERS IN THE RAIN by Rosamunde Pilcher
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 27, 1991

A second story collection by the British author of such runaway hits as The Shell Seekers and September, full of what can only be called quintessential women's magazine fiction, featuring tales for every major holiday, heroines straight out of the Laura Ashley catalogue, lots of National Trust properties in the background, comfortingly predictable endings, plenty of romance and even more sentimentality. Most conspicuous here are the shafted British thirtysomething female stories, like ``The Blackberry Day.'' In it, Claudia returns to the village in Scotland where she grew up only to read in the paper that the London businessman she's been dating has up and married someone else; fortunately, she reads this tidbit in the company of her old friend Magnus, whom she's just beginning to see with new eyes. Then there are Pilcher's studies of very recognizable dilemmas: the compromises required in marriage, as in ``Playing a Round with Love,'' with its much too easy, darling- we're-having-a-baby ending; connubial love in the golden years, rekindled in the ``The Watershed'' on the occasion of a 30th wedding-anniversary party; children hanging tough in the wake of a parent's death, as 12-year-old William does in ``The Dolls House''; and still more romance, typically between simple but ruggedly handsome farm managers and the princess-like daughters at the big house. Pilcher fans will doubtless go all atremble—even though her novels are much more satisfying than these unresolved stories. Others will find them platitudinous, obvious, and, in terms of scope and variety, a little like another article on 15 great ways to cook chicken. Read full book review >