A Week to Remember from Esther Campion is certainly reminiscent of Maeve Binchy’s style of writing. The story is set in Ireland and the landscape, the language and the customs are predominant. Although the characters hail from English speaking parts around the world, they all have a deep connection with Ireland. Each of them has a back story which is slowly revealed. We find out who they are and why they have come to West Cork.
Ellen, a local, has renovated an old farmhouse, with the help of an interior designer. It is now an upmarket guesthouse. All the characters have booked into this haven for a week. The ambience is wonderful, the food superb, and the hostess is friendly and amenable.
When Aisling and Mick arrive, it is clear that there is an issue between them. They should be celebrating Mick’s birthday and their wedding anniversary. Next to arrive is Mia. She needs to seriously consider whether she wants to continue to be an invisible sidekick to her husband.
Then Katie arrives. She is angry and clearly does not want to mix with the other guests. She grew up in this town and has not been back for twenty years. Katie’s mother is getting quite old and needs help while her other daughter has a holiday. Declan the dentist is just lost.
As the guests get to know each other, they begin to form friendships and mingle with the locals. The solitude of the guesthouse allows the characters to reassess their thoughts and families back home. Contemplation of their futures and clarity of thought provides interesting problem solving.
Human behaviour at its best and worst is examined; with fortitude, dreams are set aside for a happy reality. A Week to Remember is a satisfying and comfortable read.