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Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin

Like others in this guestbook, I read Midwinter Break in one go. A marvel of beauty
and wisdom. Also hope, compassion, language and other good things. As a jazz
musician once said of Stan Getz: Let's face it, we'd all play like that if we could.

Mon, 1 Jul , 2019 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Cormac, what a series of nice things to say. I well remember your dulcet notes from Italy. Thank you
Bertold Bär

Dear Mr MacLaverty, a book review of
Midwinter Break in a German
newspaper has raised my curiosity and
I have just spent the day reading your
novel in one go (very rare). It is a great
novel and you are a writer of extreme
delicacy. Moreover your book has
helped me find an answer to an
important question - in the positive
sense. I thank you for this. Wishing you
a blessed end of the year. Bertold Bär

Sat, 10 Nov , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Thank you Bertolt for taking a day to read Midwinter Break. I feel very grateful. And glad that it answers an important question into the bargain
Moira Lynott
Ballinskelligs Co.Kerry

Hi Bernard,
I was on nearby Valentia Island recently and I noticed my German host was reading
Midterm Break. I was also reading it at the time and she told me that Cal was on the
curriculum when she taught in school in her native Germany .
In that casual Irish way that we have, I mentioned that I had worked ( been employed !)
for a short time with you in the Pre clinical building on the Lisburn Road.
In all the intervening years I have often thought I should say thank you for the pleasure
of your stories and novels and finally spurred on by this conversation with my new pal, I
am now finally saying thank you.
Moira (O'Neill)

Mon, 29 Oct , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

What a nice story - a travelogue even - touching on Valencia, Ballinskelligs, Germany and the Lisburn Road. Incidentally the Medical Biology Centre was where I watched the nightmare of Bloody Friday. From the top floor window. A memory of it is in Midwinter Break ( page 171 of the hardback) Thank you for writing.

Kate Sweeny

Hello Mr MacLaverty. I'm happy to see that you look at this site on occasion. I
wanted to report that our book group (10 strong, been going for 14 years) read
Midwinter Break and discussed it last night. It's extremely rare for us all to agree
about a book, but we all found this one absolutely beautiful. We agreed that the
characters were sensitively drawn, sympathetic and believable. We really hope that
Gerry manages to stay off the booze, at least sufficiently for Stella to stay with
him.....maybe scope for a sequel?

Tue, 17 Jul , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Dear Kate Sweeney's book group,

Glad of the unanimity. And thank you for saying so

james kelly
Rep. Ireland

Hi Bernard,

just to let you know that I have just finished Midwinter Break and found it a brilliant
read(total page turner) I was hooked from the second paragraph.
I've started Cal but I saw Lamb a while back.
regarding Midwinter break if i could ask you the significance of the Ice? otherwise
looking forward to your next piece of work( hopefully we won't have to wait too long)

Wed, 16 May , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Dear James,

Thank you for the kind words. It would be a poorer book without the block of ice, I think. It's the shape of the inside of things, it's a thermometer as well as a talking point for Stella and Gerry.

Patrick Kelly

I just wanted to say that I have been reading your short story collection and I think
'Walking the Dog' is possibly the best thing I have seen on the Troubles in Northern
Ireland. It is concise, moving and gets right to the heart of the madness of
sectarianism. Should be on the school curriculum.

Sun, 29 Apr , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)


Thanks for the kind contribution. I agree with you.

laura nolan

Midwinter Break was, to quote my book mad dad, a cracker!
I loved it, especially the way a different location acts to buffer the pasr and the present.
So much to think about,.
I love the way Stella and Gerry are forever having little naps. Mini-breaks are often an
exhausting business. Thanks ,

Thu, 26 Apr , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Thanks Laura
for taking the time to write. Little naps are a luxury after 'three score years and ten'

Susan Browning
Manchester UK

I’m a student on a creative writing MA. I read Midwinter Break in one sitting, staying up
until nearly 3am to finish it. Your writing is beautiful, so poignant. I empathised with both
characters. This is the first book I’ve read of yours, so I’m thrilled to be able to read
more. Thank you

Sun, 25 Mar , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Good luck, Susan, with the MA. And good luck with my fiction from the past.
Patricia Watson
Providence, Rhode Island

I loved Midwinter Break. I read it in one
sitting. Thank you for such a lovely

Sun, 11 Mar , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Thank you for saying so


Leigh Hudgens
Cork Ireland

Hi Bernard. I am in a book club and have been assigned the task of doing a
presentation of your book Midwinter Break. I would appreciate any insight that you
feel would be of value for discussion. We have been meeting for over 40 years and
I am one of the newest members since I joined in 1982 when I moved to Ireland. I
enjoyed your character development and questioned who loved more Christian or
alcoholic. You raised many issues that I am sure will lead to a lively discussion.
Thank you for input you are willing to share.

Mon, 5 Feb , 2018 Modify (Protected) Remove (Protected)

Leigh Hudgens,

Thanks for your posting. I hesitate to launch into a rumination on my own novel in such a place. It is what it is. The characters are who they are. I wish you and your book club all the best with your discussion.

I liked Elizabeth Strouts observation in her novel My Name is Lucy Barton when she has her fictional writer, Sarah Payne, say that her job as a writer of fiction is to report on the human condition, to tell us who we are and what we think and what we do.