I was in a funk and not really in the mood to read much else so I went back and re read two other short story collections by Maeve Binchy this past weekend Then I saw there was a brand new collection that has been put out and I decided to just go for it and bought and read this new collection in less than a day Although I finished it before I went home from work yesterday, I still re read several of the stories that I found the most moving or at least left me thinking.There are 36 short stories in this volume and although one is a repeat that was in her short story collection, London Transports, I still thought all of them were ridiculously good.The collection is also divided into several sections Section 1 Friends and Enemiessection 2 Love and Marriage, section 3 Your Cheating Heart, section 4 Relatives and Other Strangers, section 5 Work and No Play, and section 6 Holidays.Be forewarned, the Love and Marriage one was pretty dark Heck there were a lot of dark aspects to these stories and I for one loved them I like when an author doesn t just have things wrap up in a pretty bow at the end Life isn t like that, and I like that in just a few short pages Maeve Binchy can get you completely immersed in a story, make you feel sympathy or despise the character you are reading about in just a few short sentences I am just going to highlight my favorites instead of doing a mini review of all 36 stories Picnic at St Paul s The main character Catherine was a better person than me I felt sort of horrified by this story of a woman who has her life overrun by a friend she hasn t seen in almost a decade because she keeps sending her friends to stay with her while they are traveling through At first you think this may be an unexpected meet cute love at first sight story Living Well I have been here Your the poor friend trying your best to be there for a friend who keeps putting up with mess from their partner In this story we have the character of Gina trying her best to get her friend Orla to get over her horrible boyfriend Eddie Too bad things don t exactly work out the way she hoped Someone s Got to Tell Her I absolutely loved how this story is a one way conversation that you the reader are on You don t know what the other person is saying, but you can get clued in based on what the main character is saying and responding to Also in just a few short lines here and there you realize that the main character name unknown is a ridiculous stuck up and prejudice person I almost laughed at the ending The Bargain This really touched me a lot I think because I grew up in a small town and remember how hard it was to move to the city and be around so many people The main character, Cara, has the opposite problem She s fallen in love and now has to think about whether she is ready to move to the country I loved the resolution in this story Audrey Told from the point of view of a cat named Audrey I laughed from beginning to end and now have been side eyeing my cat Junior Maybe she really is trying to tell me something when she s meowing A Tactful Conversation Wow I loved the main character of Beth who was no holds barred with her new lover s children The Custardly Case This story was heartbreaking to me The main character in this is a little boy named Bernard who has no idea how his world is going to unravel Readers will quickly get clued into what is happening here though I was personally outraged by the resolution in this story too The Consultant Aunt Holy cow The aunt in this story could give lessons to Cathy from East of Eden on how to be diabolical The Dream Holiday What I liked about this story is that quite quickly you become aware of the group s interactions with each other and you realize that all of them seem to be blind about the reality of their situations I really did love how the story wrapped up in this one. I m sorry I read this collection as it taints my memories of the Maeve Binchy novels I have enjoyed Her widowed husband, Gordon Snell, does tell us in the beginning that these are some of the stories Maeve was always writing, but my main impression was that there were reasons she hadn t published these while she was alive Some of them are so short and undeveloped that I would hesitate to even call them stories, and some end so abruptly that I pictured the doorbell ringing, Maeve getting up to answer it, and shoving the unfinished story into a desk drawer She might have worked on these and edited them into her usual warm hearted storytelling if she had lived, but I did not enjoy reading her first drafts. 3.5 Stars It s tough to rate a book of short stories that you re not sure were ever meant to be published I can picture Maeve Binchy sitting at her writing desk, working away on one of her many best sellers, when she realizes she needs a break She wants to keep writing but just not on the book she is currently working on So she takes 30 minutes and free writes She sees her cat walk in the room and writes Audrey She recalls a conversation she had with her young niece about losing her luggage on her holiday and writes Sandra s Suitcase She completes these short stories, tucks them away into a drawer and returns to her novel Over the year of her incredible career, hundreds of short stories were probably produced Maeve Binchy has been my favourite writer for the last 15 years I know I will never walk into my local bookshop and see her latest novel in the window which still, years later, makes me sad but perhaps I will continue to be surprised when I discover a new book of her short stories. Maeve Binchy is one of my all time favorites I love everything she writes. A Few of the Girls by Maeve Binchy is a lovely collection of short stories which will be the last ones found and written by Maeve Binchy which does make them pretty special.The short stories are about everyday life, some are serious, sad, funny and even comical but all of them are real and true to life.This was great holiday reading over Christmas and New Year and a lovely gift to receive.Thank you, Maeve for leaving me with this wonderful collection of short stories Your books and writing will stay with us all forever. I miss Maeve Bunchy I miss her dearly Her husband, Gordon Snell s, posthumous release of some of her short stories is a deeply appreciated gift Reading a FEW OF THE GIRLS was like sitting on a park bench next to Maeve on a blustery autumn day with a shared thermos of hot tea Leaning toward each other conspiratorially wind whipping loose hair across our faces she catches me up on the news and happenings of longtime, common friends Raised eyebrows, a knowing wink, heads thrown back in laughter, I learn the ins and outs the gritty details before she heads back from whence she came I appreciated our short visit I hope there will be The blurb pretty much sums it up the collection really is full of warm, witty, insightful and sweet stories Some, like The Custardy Case , touch the heart told from a young boy s point of view, this was probably my favourite story others offer hope and promise and yet others take readers on a walk down memory lane I read most of the book in one sitting and enjoyed it, but after a while I did find the stories tended to blend into one another Binchy tends to use the same name for different characters in different stories I d recommend savouring the stories over a longer period of time Make a hot drink, grab a biscuit or two and take a break with a story or two.As for me, I m going to catch up with an old friend time to re read Circle of Friends. Full disclosure I have adored Maeve Binchy ever since her first book came out decades ago A Few of the Girls , is a collection of short stories most of them fewer than ten pages long And while it s not the BEST of Binchy s writingit s still classic Binchy delightful, kind, witty, real I m going to copy a paragraph that made me laugh and that pretty much says it all about Binchy s writing style It was quite a drunken wedding and the bridesmaid did an entirely uncalled for striptease, which she would probably regret for the rest of her life Brian the groom was rather too appreciative of the bridesmaid s displayed charms, and there was an argument about trade unionism that did no favors to either side but alienated a lot of people permanently Three of the pageboys were sick, and the bride s father got into a poker game where he lost five hundred pounds Fans of Maeve Binchy won t want to miss this collection. A New Collection Of Stories Previously Unpublished In The United States By Beloved And Best Selling Author Maeve BinchyMaeve Binchy S Best Selling Novels Not Only Tell Wonderful Stories, They Also Show That While Times Change, People Often Remain The Same They Fall In Love, Sometimes Unsuitably They Have Hopes And Dreams They Have Deep, Long Standing Friendships, And Others That Fall Apart From Her Earliest Writing To Her Most Recent, Maeve S Work Has Included Wonderfully Nostalgic Pieces And Also Sharp, Often Witty Writing That Is Insightful And Topical But At The Heart Of All Maeve S Fiction Are The People And Their Relationships With Each Other A Few Of The Girls Is A Glorious Collection Of The Very Best Of Her Writing, Full Of The Warmth, Charm, And Humor That Has Always Been Essentially Maeve Picking up one of her books is like wrapping up in your favorite blanket on a cold day Just when I thought I wasn t going to get that feeling again, this book came along Even though it s short stories, you still get the warm fuzzies from it I don t know that anyone will ever be able to capture human nature quite the way she was able to do it If you re a fan, don t miss this one.
Gordon Snell, writer and editor of children s books When they were struggling financially, Light a Penny Candle was published, which made her an overnight success Many of her books, such as Echoes, are set in the past in Ireland Some of her later novels, such as Evening Class, take place in modern times Her books often deal with people who are young, fall in love, have families, and deal with relationship or family problems The main characters are people whom readers can empathise with She passed away on 30 July 2012, at the age of 72.Her cousin
- 404 pages
- A Few of the Girls
- Maeve Binchy
- 11 April 2017 Maeve Binchy