Cover image for A winter marriage : a novel
A winter marriage : a novel
Hardie, Kerry, 1951-
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, [2000]

Physical Description:
394 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This searing first novel from Irish poet Hardie unflinchingly dissects a disappointing marriage of convenience. Hardie probes beneath the skin of her sharply drawn characters, revealing complex layers of resignation and regret. In between spouses, professional wife Hannie Bennet desperately seeks a new mate to provide for herself and her teenage son. Hastily settling for elderly travel writer Ned Renvyle, middle-aged Hannie moves onto her new husband's remote farm in rural Ireland. Trapped by emotional and financial circumstances, she begins to withdraw, purposely alienating Ned and most of her new neighbors. When her son arrives, the palpable tension escalates, as it soon becomes apparent that something is not quite right with young Joss. This disquieting domestic drama effortlessly transforms itself into a taut psychological thriller featuring a harrowing back-story. --Margaret Flanagan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers of Hardie's first novel may conclude early on that it's probably best for anyone with lots of secrets not to move to a claustrophobically nosy village in Ireland. Too bad, then, that 52-year-old serial wife Hannie Bennet is so desperate to marry again that she flouts this sensible dictum. At a friend's wedding in England, widowed Hannie meets Ned Renvyle, a much older writer looking for a wife, and they agree to a pragmatic marriage he gets a companion, she gets to share his money. Settling on Ned's farm in the Irish countryside, Hannie soon discovers that enduring the snooping of the snobbish community may be too high a price to pay for financial security, particularly when her disturbed teenage son, Joss, arrives. His increasingly menacing behavior further underscores the differences between her and the villagers and eventually drives her to reveal a tragic secret from her past. An intelligent, subtle writer, Hardie paints a convincing picture of the compromises of domestic life. She explores questions of aging and mortality, idealism and cynicism, "nature versus nurture" and the responsibility that comes with marriage as she takes Hannie's story to its dark but hopeful climax. Sometimes Hardie overreaches, piling the philosophy on too thick and diluting the power of Hannie's revelation. Still, if readers are willing to indulge these meditations, Hardie's debut will leave them wondering what else this provocative writer has up her sleeve. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This first novel introduces Hannie Bennet, a widow and three-time divorcee visiting friends in England and looking for husband No. 4. When she meets Ned, a much older gentleman, they marry and return to his estate in Ireland. There, Hannie begins to doubt the choice she has made while waiting for her son, Joss, to arrive. As the story unfolds, we learn about Hannie's past and the dark secrets she keeps. While the story is suspenseful and the language often lyrical, readers will find it hard to get past their utter dislike for the characters. Hannie seems no more than an opportunist, her mood sour owing to her unhappiness at having misjudged Ned's worth. Joss is a selfish, twisted adolescent, and Ned is a pushover. Those looking for novels addressing relationships between younger women and older men would be better served by Joanna Trollop's The Men and the Girls or Anita Shreve's Fortune's Rocks.-Nanci Milone Hill, Lucius Beebe Memorial Lib., Wakefield, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.