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Maeve Binchy

More light summer reading - I enjoy the portraits that she paints, and the various human stories, all interwoven, rather like the Greek myths with much less drama - however, everyday, almost real people is rather pleasant. I think that 'Whitethorn Woods' was especially well done.  Not shallow at all!

Hello Deerfield, and welcome to the board. I'm afraid I can't reply to your posts, as I have read either Maeve Binchy nor Bernard Cornwell, but I'm sure there are others on the board who have.

Please do feel free to look around, & post on whatever takes your fancy.

Cheers, Himadri

Welcome, Derfel.

I have read and enjoyed Maeve Binchy though not recently.  Like you, I like the way she takes ordinary people and winds stories round them all.  Light, a little romance, and written with warmth.  I am not sure Irish people quite think the portrayal of Ireland life is absolutely up-to-date, but I'm not worried about that.I don't read them as a portrait of modern-day Ireland.  

I was really impressed during the first one I read - Firefly Summer - when


kids are playing happily and then out-of-the-blue one of them falls off a bridge and is killed.  Normally in books there is some sense of doom in the writing, or some feeling that something is about to happen, or a comment about the danger, or comments like "They weren't to know this was the last time..." etc.  In this book Maeve Binchy just had it happen the way it does in real life - suddenly with no warning at all.  I thought she did that very well.  

I haven't read her last few books though.  

Cheers, Caro.

Hi Derfel and a big welcome to BR from me  Very Happy

I have not read Bernard Cornwell either but am aware of his work - I think I read a Maeve Binchy book a long while ago the title of which escape me one was about an evacuee sent to Ireland during WW2, its very hazy now and I can't remember that much about it though. (I might even have the wrong author altogether and be thinking of a book by someone else).

Hi Derfel. It is always exciting to have someone new here.
I went to see Maeve Binchey at the Cheltenham Literary Festival more than ten years ago. She talked almost non stop and was immensely amusing and engaging - like her books can be. I used to read her a lot but went off her as I find her books a a bit too much now - not exactly all the same but perhaps too emotional.
She was incredibly funny about her weight - she is a huge woman. She needed to have a hip operation but the surgeon refused as the anaesthetic would be too dangerous for someone her size. Having spent her life absolutely refusing to slim she decided the pain of her hip was worse than the pain of losing weight so she lost 5 stone by, basically, staving herself ..... had the operation done and then enjoyed putting all the weight back on.

That's interesting, Ann, about poor Maeve's hip; oh what a pain to have to loose weight though. I'm glad she's feeling better.  

I'm reading 'Minding Frankie' right now for the lightness of it, and it moves along - not one that takes forever. My first of her books was Circle of Friends, which became a movie - well done character studies, I think. She relates a wealth of experience with people, and some culture, too, so I do enjoy her work. I usually find a new one in whatever bookstore I'm at, whereever in the world!

Hi Caro, Apple and Himardri, great to see you all! What authors are good? I'm always happy for suggestions!

I have just seen the sad news that Maeve Binchy has died.  I think the only one of her books I have read is Circle of Friends, which I loved.

That is sad - I hadn't heard that.  I read quite a lot of her books, but not for some time.  She had an easy warm style without being too trivial and avoiding chick lit.

Oh, that's sad.  The first I read by Maeve was Light a Penny Candle. Loved it! I just bought This Year it Will be Different for a plane trip; and discovered her writing addy, was going to send a note of appreciation. Well, best I know that, then. All things must pass...

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