I was sent a free copy of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley by Caitlin Hamilton Summie. All opinions are my own. You can read my review of Ms. Henley’s earlier novel, Estelle.
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About Waterbury Winter:
Barnaby Brown has had enough of freezing winters, insurmountable debt, a dead-end job, and his solitary life as a young widower with no one but his beloved parrot Popsicle. He yearns to move to California and reawaken his long-lost early life as an artist. But new troubles come in threes. His ancient car crashes into a snowbank. Popsicle escapes through a window carelessly left open.
A New York gallery owner offers to represent Barnaby’s paintings—but is he on the up-and-up? All of it serves to shock Barnaby into confronting how low he has sunk, and he vows—again and again—to change. He has a few obstacles, starting with his heavy drinking and long-term neglect of his ancestral home. As he takes steps toward a better life, he re-discovers the value of old friendships and latent talents seen in new light, and finds the courage to consider a second chance at love. Rejoining the mainstream of life presents several startling mysteries he must unravel, with a few mortifying but enlightening stumbles.
A heart-warming novel about ordinary people reclaiming their dormant potential, Waterbury Winter celebrates the restorative value of art and the joy to be found in keeping promises.
You can purchase Waterbury Winter on Amazon.com
About the Author:
Linda Stewart Henley is an English-born American who moved to the United States at sixteen. She is a graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University in New Orleans. She currently lives with her husband in Anacortes, Washington.
“A reflective, witty, and fun story that elegantly crosses genres and addresses intriguing themes.”
“…a page-turner. I found I could not put it down until I had reached the end. It makes you think about how you are handling your life and if you are stagnating because you are too afraid to take a chance. I enjoyed reading this book from the first page to the last and found the ending the best, due to the fact that I had started rooting early for the main characters”
—Readers’ Favorite 5-star review
“A heartfelt journey of two lost souls finding grace . . . and each other. Waterbury Winter is a must-read for anyone who believes in second chances and the power of kindness—or who wants to believe in them. This is one of those books that, when you have to put it down, you can’t wait to pick it up again.”
—Donna Cameron, Nautilus Award–winning author of A Year of Living Kindly: Choices that Will Change Your Life and the World Around You
“Waterbury Winter is a heart-warming story of loss and love, challenge and resistance, and the power of creative expression. Henley’s masterful descriptions of character and place make these pages the perfect spot to hang out. Readers will make themselves at home, cheer for the protagonist, Barnaby, and be totally charmed by his opinionated parrot, Popsicle.”
—Romalyn Tilghman, award-winning author of To the Stars Through Difficulties
“A tour de force reminiscent of A Man Called Ove. Barnaby Brown’s interactions and experiences unfold in such a way as to endear him to the reader. He’s not perfect, but his imperfections are what reveal his gentle and generous spirit, and we root for him at every upturn and downturn. Waterbury Winter is a memorable masterpiece.”
—Saralyn Richard, award-winning author of the Detective Parrott mystery series and A Murder of Principal
“Linda Henley manages to combine drama, romance, humor, and even an art theft mystery in the highly entertaining Waterbury Winter. The novel introduces us to Barnaby Brown, an artist who is so down on his luck there’s no farther to slide. Through fast-paced writing and a series of remarkable plot twists, Henley constantly surprises the reader as Barnaby (accompanied by his faithful parrot, Popsicle) stumbles mightily in his efforts to redeem himself and become the man he wants to be. A many-layered novel, Waterbury Winter is, above all, a moving tribute to the healing power of art.”
—Laurel Davis Huber, award-winning author of The Velveteen Daughter
Waterbury Winter is a tale of a man, his art and a parrot named Popsicle. A talking parrot named Popsicle. Now how can a book with a talking parrot named Popsicle be bad? I am always a sucker for a clever pet in a book and Popsicle is a major selling point for me here. If you read my book reviews with any regularity you know that I rarely read a book that isn’t historical fiction. Now you know what it takes….a parrot.
Not completely true – an intriguing synopsis helps as well and obviously I was interested when approached with this title or I wouldn’t have added it to my reading list. I can tell you that it is very well written and despite some hard topics, it is quite easy to read. You can chalk that up to the author’s skills in creating flawed characters that are still very likeable.
Barnaby (Popsicle’s human) is not exactly happy with his life. He is an alcoholic – although he is trying to stop drinking – he has a dead end job and he just crashed his car. A car that was a major part of his plan to get out of town and start over in California. As soon as he got his life in some semblance of order.
As Barnaby tries to effect this big life change it seems that life wants something else for him. You see, Barnaby is an artist and despite letting his talent wane a dealer now wants to showcase his works. But can he find both the wherewithal to create again and well, the paintings he has already created.
Waterbury Winter is an even paced book about a slow paced life of a rather ordinary man. With a parrot named Popsicle. While that may sound unbelievably boring it truly is not. This is due to the skill of the author and her way with words. It won’t be the most exciting book you read this year but it might be one of the more satisfying.