Five Tuesdays in Winter

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Pub Date 20 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 20 Jan 2022

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Writers & Lovers established Lily King as one of our most beloved authors of contemporary fiction. Now, for the first time ever, King collects ten of her finest short stories, opening fresh realms of discovery for avid and new readers alike.

Told in the intimate voices of unique and endearing characters of all ages, these tales explore desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A bookseller’s unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface, a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl’s loss of innocence at the hands of her employer’s son becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in his granddaughter’s hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King’s enduring subject of love.

Lily King's literary mastery, her spare and stunning prose, and her gift for creating lasting and treasured characters is on full display in this curated selection of short fiction. Five Tuesdays in Winter showcases an exhilarating new form for this extraordinarily gifted author writing at the height of her career.

Writers & Lovers established Lily King as one of our most beloved authors of contemporary fiction. Now, for the first time ever, King collects ten of her finest short stories, opening fresh realms of...

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ISBN 9781529086478
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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

Lily King has to be one of the best writers working today. Her novels, particularly Writers and Lovers and Euphoria are exquisite portraits of women and their relationships to others and to the worlds they inhabit. I approached Five Tuesdays in Winter with some trepidation. Could she straddle the different disciplines of the short story and the novel. YES she can. These are utterly brilliant, memorable and moving. In a few pages she creates rounded characters and achingly poignant scenarios. I will gift this book to many people. Thank you NetGalley and Lily King for such pleasure.

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This is the first of Lily King’s books I have read although having many on my TBR and so had no expectations going into it, although I’m sure if I had, they would all have been met. Each story was entirely different and entirely addicting at the same time. There was no point at which I was bored with a one or wanted to move onto the next. The way she is able to portray emotions from grief and loss, to love and heartbreak is beautiful. I have no doubt I will go on to read and enjoy many of her other books, and soon.

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Earlier this year, I finally got around to reading Writers and Lovers by Lily King and still kick myself now for taking so long to read it; it’s a wonderful novel. When I saw this book of short stories on Netgalley, I requested it straightaway and found it to be an enjoyable collection. The stories feature a range of different characters and settings but have some common themes of love, loss and grief. Similar to King’s previous novels, she creates memorable, unique characters and is able to quickly make you care about what happens to them. Whilst none of the stories left me wanting (in terms of how they ended) I could quite happily read a whole novel about some of the characters. The stand out stories for me were Five Tuesdays in Winter, Hotel Seattle and When in the Dordogne, the ending of which is exquisitely beautiful.

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Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King is a very strong collection of keenly observed short stories with deftly handled characterization and compelling writing.

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Having loved Lily King’s Writers & Lovers I was looking forward to reading more of her work and I can happily say (or write) that her first-ever collection of short stories did not disappoint. More often than not I find short story collections to be a mixed bag (with some good ones, some meh ones, and even a bad egg or two). But, I found myself drawn to all of the stories in Five Tuesdays in Winter. While the stories focus on characters who don’t always have much in common (be it their age, the time when and/or place where they are living, their fears or desires) their narratives are characterised by a bittersweet tone that will elicit feelings of nostalgia in the reader (regardless of whether they have experienced what the characters are experiencing). Despite the title of this collection many of these stories are set during the summer and easily transport us right there alongside the characters so that we too are experiencing the heat, elation, and almost-surreality of their summer holidays (that feeling of being free from the usual routines etc). King captures with unsparing clarity the thoughts and feelings of her characters, and conveys their wide range of emotions, honing in on the longing, unease, giddiness, and sadness they experience over the course of their stories. Some are in love with someone who may or may not reciprocate their feelings, others are in a phase of transition, for example, from childhood to adulthood, or mired in the confusion of adolescence. In the first story, ‘Creature’, Cara, a fourteen-year-girl, is employed by a well-off family as a babysitter for the summer holidays. During the time she spends at this family’s house she becomes infatuated with Hugh, her employer's son, who is much older than her. Our narrator is an aspiring author who likes to envision herself as a Jane Eyre sort of figure but, one thing is to daydream about Hugh, another is realising that Hugh has no compunction about making a move on her (when she’s very much underage). In ‘Five Tuesdays in Winter’ a single-father and bookseller falls for his employer who is also tutoring his daughter in Spanish. Mitchell is however unable to express his feelings and spends much of his time longing to confess his love to her. In ‘When in the Dordogne’ the son of two professors bonds with the two college students who have been hired to housesit his home and keep an eye on him. In ‘North Sea’ a mother and daughter are on vacation together but their strained relationship results in a less than idyllic time. While the following stories also present us with different perspectives and scenarios they explore similar themes (hope, connection, love). I liked how King manages to be both a gentle and an unflinching storyteller, that is able to make you happy one moment and sad the next. I also appreciated that the stories didn’t have neat endings or ‘valuable’ life lessons but often read like a slice-of-life that is providing us with a glimpse into a specific period of her characters’ lives. King captures how confusing feelings can be sometimes, so that we have characters both longing for something or someone while at the same time feeling uneasy at the possibility of attaining what, or who, they’d thought they desired. My favourites were ‘Creature’, ‘When in the Dordogne’, ‘Timeline’, and ‘Hotel Seattle’. King’s understated prose is a marvel to read and I had a wonderful time with this collection. If you were a fan of Writers & Lovers you should definitely pick this one up. Moving and wistful Five Tuesdays in Winter is a scintillating collection! ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Lily King’s Five Tuesdays in Winter is her first collection of short stories, some with a darker edge than I remember from Writers & Lovers and Fathers of the Rain, both of which I enjoyed very much. I’ll begin with my favourite, the gently humorous titular story which sees a socially awkward bookseller harbouring a quiet passion for a member of staff, cheered on by his beloved, much more emotionally intelligent twelve-year-old. In When in the Dordogne a man looks back to the summer he was fourteen, left in the care of two students and the confidence they gave him to start his life, understanding only later what each meant to the other. Of the darker stories, Timeline sees Lucy fleeing a disastrous affair and finding herself in the midst of another set of fraught relationships wondering if she'll manage to get it all down on paper. Man at the Door is about a struggling writer interrupted by a man banging on the door who won't take no for an answer, brandishing a copy of her work in progress. I thought this one might backfire but it turned into a favourite with its dark humour and satisfying smothering of self-doubt. Family break-ups, adolescence, addiction and its consequences, and writing are all explored in these ten stories but King’s dominant theme is love, in one form or another. She delivers characteristically astute observations on relationships, particularly between adults and adolescents. Many of her characters wrestle with parenthood problems exacerbated by break-ups. A couple of the shorter pieces are a little unsatisfying but it’s an enjoyable collection, written with a pleasing insight and perception.

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I read Lily King’s Writers and Lovers at the beginning of this year and loved it , now after reading her first short story anthology, she’s gone onto my list of must read authors and I’m looking forward to reading some of earlier books. Five Tuesdays in Winter is a collection of ten short stories. Each one is as entertaining, warm , beautiful as the next. I’d read full novels of every one. A bookshop owner falls in love with an employee. An elderly grandfather sits beside his granddaughters hospital bed. A teenage boy finds care, friendship and nurturing from his college student babysitters. A divorced mother and her children take a road trip. Each story is very different, some are each story has love in some form at is core. There were several points in this collection where whole passages of the text made me stop and reread. Moving, unsettling, heartwarming, Lily King captures emotions in exquisite detail and writes memorable characters with great skill. Every story made me want to read more. Exceptionally well written. I’ve read several short story collections this year, this is one I will return to and buy for people. Wholeheartedly recommend. 4.5- 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Lily King is one of my favorite writers and this treasure of short stories is no exception. She is a word-smith genius, and her sharp eye for the minutiae of every-day life makes every story seem like something we might perhaps have actually experienced ourselves, or been told about by a friend during a boozy dinner party.

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I loved Lily King's last book, Writers and Lovers, and this collection has all of the same charm, readability and comic incisiveness. A joy to read.

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Anthologies are hard to rate , because it's not one story but many small ones, some you like , some you don't but with Five Tuesdays in winter , every story was beautiful . This was my first lily king book but she is no stranger and i have heard such good things about her and this set of stories just proved them all right <3

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