Return to Winter Solstice

Yes, as I said two weeks ago, Rosamunde Pilcher’s Winter Solstice proved irresistible. It was gone in no time at all, but I reckon it was in a good cause. It made me feel better.

It was the same as almost twenty years ago. And it wasn’t. I saw things I didn’t notice then. I’m someone who has generally been able to ignore certain less pc aspects in a story, if the book is good.

The thing with Pilcher’s books was that they featured ‘better’ people. Not necessarily better off, but not you and me. Rather like most romances, where we don’t want to read about the most mundane and awful lives, because we have enough living them.

Oscar is lovely. He is also recently bereaved, which is the reason for the whole plot. He is polite and sweet mannered, and handsome, for a 67-year-old. But he is also quietly sexist, and is helped in this by our heroine, Elfrida.

Elfrida puts up with it, because that’s what a Pilcher girl does. She goes from only bothering with her own chores and her dog, to running a household for five, plus the dog. She does it uncomplainingly, while Oscar is allowed to ‘have outbursts.’

One can overlook this, and I did. The story is still a warm and lovely thing, leading up to Christmas. It’s about togetherness, and new beginnings. But it was kind of interesting to discover the inequalities.

Might reread it again, some December in a few years’ time, if we’re all still here.

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