Staff recommendation: A Guardian / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Herald Scotland / Mail on Sunday Book of the YearWinner of the Bord Gais Novel of the Year`Midwinter Break is a work of extraordinary emotional precision and sympathy, about coming to terms – to an honest reckoning – with love and the loss of love, with memory and pain…this is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the height of his powers’ Colm ToibinA retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly to Amsterdam for a midwinter break. A holiday to refresh the senses, to see the sights and to generally take stock of what remains of their lives. But amongst the wintry streets and icy canals we see their relationship fracturing beneath the surface.
And when memories re-emerge of a troubled time in their native Ireland things begin to fall apart. As their midwinter break comes to an end, we understand how far apart they are – and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves.