Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy

It’s been said that no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. However if those doors are on Chestnut Street in Dublin, Maeve Binchy will clue us in to the inner workings.
A collection of nearly 40 somewhat interwoven short stories, this book, published posthumously, is Binchy’s last. It’s a nice coda on her literary life. The book’s stories feature a lot of humor, some sadness, a wee bit of sex, and many happy surprises about the life choices made by the middle-class residents of this long crescent-shaped street in Ireland’s capital.
If you've read this charming writer before, you won’t be disappointed, just wistful that this is her last offering. However, if you haven’t read Binchy before, this collection is a good way to be introduced to her (our Library has over a dozen of her works, so come on back for more when you finish this one).  But grab a cup of tea before you turn to page 1 of Chestnut Street, as you’ll want to settle in for a cozy time when  you meet "Dolly’s Mother" (what IS she doing behind the closed door with that man who is not Dolly's father?), "The Older Man" (why did Helen want to marry him, of all people?), the four lost souls who end up together having a very festive dinner  "One Night a Year", and so many other Dubliners of various ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities.

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