A delightful collection of linked stories.
Just round the corner from St Jarlath’s Crescent (featured in Minding Frankie) is Chestnut Street. Here, the lives of the residents are revealed in Maeve Binchy’s wonderfully compelling tales:
Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son. Nessa Byrne, whose aunt comes to visit from America for six weeks every summer and turns the house – and Nessa’s world – upside down. Lilian, the generous girl with a big heart, and the fiancé not everyone approves of. And Melly, whose gossip about the neighbours leads to trouble in the form of the fortune teller, ‘Madame Magic’…
No one rivals Maeve Binchy for stories of warmth, kindness, love, loss – and life not always turning out as expected.
Maeve’s husband, Gordon Snell, writes:
The places Maeve created in her novels and stories – Knockglen, Castlebay, Mountfern, and so many others – became just as real for her readers as those of the real Ireland. In fact the Irish Tourist Board often had to explain to visitors that they couldn’t actually get on a bus or train to go and see them.
Chestnut Street, too, is fictional, but the Dublin portrayed there is very real: a city changing over the years in ways that come vividly to life in these stories of its residents and their families.
Maeve wrote the stories over several decades, reflecting the city and people of the moment – always with the idea of one day making them into a collection with Chestnut Street as its centre. I am very pleased with the way her editors have now gathered them together as she intended, to make this delightful new Maeve Binchy book Chestnut Street.
Reviews of Chestnut Street
“The author gives us one last extraordinary look at ordinary people as they struggle with family relationships, romances gone awry, and the possibility for a better future … all with Binchy’s thoughtful and loving touch that will be sorely missed.” — Publishers Weekly
“Maeve Binchy’s work continues to inspire … thought-provoking, warm and funny in equal measure.” — Woman
“Thanks to Binchy’s characteristic compassion, we find ourselves sympathising with her underdogs, welcoming the punishments visited on her scoundrels, and wishing for justice for those long-suffering characters who keep trying to do the right thing without any hope of recompense … an unexpected treat.” — Irish Mail on Sunday
Published in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand by Orion. Published in the USA by Knopf.
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