Five Tuesdays in Winter

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Title: Five Tuesdays in Winter

Writer: Lily King

Publishing House: Grove Press

Date of Publication: November 2nd 2021

Rating: 5 stars

Well, there is something vague and hazy and particular about Tuesdays. They are simple but mysterious, neither here nor there, free of the Monday gloom but lacking the joy of Friday. They are peaceful yet alert as if they’re waiting for something. A change. An accidental meeting. 

The ten stories in Lily King’s first collection of short stories are like a Tuesday. And they are ‘’stories’’ in every sense of the word. Meet characters that could be our family, our friends. They love and lose, they hope and fight their way in that confusing, beautiful thing we call ‘’Life’’…

Creature: A fourteen-year-old girl is hired as a babysitter in a mansion. Escaping her parents’ divorce, Carol finds a strange family and begins to see herself as a modern Jane Eyre. But no book can prepare you for the loss of innocence.

Five Tuesdays in Winter: Sometimes, it only takes five Tuesdays in February for your life to change. A tender story of a reticent owner of an antique bookshop, a charismatic woman, a brilliant teenager and the beauty of the Spanish language.

When in the Dordogne: A teenage boy, who calls himself ‘’the Martini boy’’, is left to spend the summer in France, away from his parents (who don’t actually deserve to be called ‘’parents’’….). Two young men who hide their own secrets become his guide to the grown-up world. A story for that one summer when we discovered ‘’The World’’ that ends on a hopeful note.

North Sea: A mother and a daughter go on a vacation on a remote island, trying to heal the wound of a tragic loss. The girl is unwilling to share her feelings with her mother, the pain is still too deep. A haunting story about the mechanisms we enforce when we try to cope with sorrow and the importance of companionship.

Timeline: In a story that is actually darker than it seems, the bond between a sister and a brother is the finest remedy for heartache and disappointment. 

Hotel Seattle: A gay man who has been strictly raised in a Catholic household is trying to get over his attraction to his best friend. When they meet after a few years, past wounds will open once again…

Waiting for Charlie: A ninety-year-old man is trying to communicate with his granddaughter who has had a terrible accident and is now in a coma. In the strange ‘’universe’’ of the hospital, he remembers the moments he has spent with her and his own losses and fears. A short, simple, yet striking and heartbreaking story.

Mansard: The father of a young woman returns home. He was a spy once and this may be their only chance to truly know each other. But life rarely goes our way… 

South: A woman has to put up with the repercussions of a collapsed marriage and the accusations of her insufferable daughter. Her tale about a ghost in Austria becomes a telling metaphor for dishonesty and treason.

The Man at the Door: A writer receives a visit from a strange man. He holds her unfinished book and begins to accuse her of every literary cliche imaginable. He is the representative of men’s dismissive attitude towards women writers. He is the epitome of the misogynistic reader. But he is also the mirror to her own course, her personal journey in the literary world and she knows it. So, guess who emerges victorious in the outrageous duel…

Many thanks to Grove Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.