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Binchy was well-known for creating realistic characters who interact in ordinary ways, in ordinary places. Before her death, in 2012, she had been jotting down short stories here and there featuring a number of different characters who all lived on the same Dublin street, Chestnut Street. This collection was gathered by her editors and approved by her family for publication. Readers meet plain Dolly, who wants to be just like her glamorous mother; Joyce, a model who gets her comeuppance on a blind date with an obese man; and Kevin Walsh, the taxi driver who keeps strangers’ secrets. Many of the stories are quite brief (as short as three pages) but serve as lovely character portraits. There is no common plotline moving the stories along, and some stories are stronger than others, but, overall, the collection works well, and her fans will be pleased.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Binchy’s many fans are sure to line up to read this collection of short stories, especially since they know there will be no more. --Rebecca Vnuk
“[The] prose is lyrical, carrying the reader along like a lullaby. . . Each tale offers a lesson about our preconceived notions and prejudices, themes that have been a Binchy hallmark. . . For Maeve Binchy fans, Chestnut Street is a gift bequeathed to the reader.” —Mary Cadden, USA Today
“Has everything that makes Binchy special, in small delicious bites; her ability to capture human nature, describe individual life arcs, and breathe life into characters and settings really shines in these stories. . . . Chestnut Street is fictional, but the characters are very real. It’s Binchy’s gift, this ability to tell stories through characters we recognize, can relate to, want to know. . . We believe in her world, and the people she populates it with. They may be very Irish, and often concern themselves with Irish issues—but at heart, the problems are human and universal.” —Bobbi Dumas, NPR
“Short stories that reflect a sunnier but not saccharine take on life are literature’s rewards for time spent reading on the dark side. And Maeve Binchy’s Chestnut Street is such a reward. . . [These stories] reflect Binchy’s generous spirit and realism about human frailty, never ignoring it but always empathizing with its cause. . . . Though only a few pages long, each story is a complete and always perceptive narrative. . . . Binchy’s collection constitutes a bittersweet parting gift from a storyteller who understood the ‘strange justice of the world’ that shapes lives wherever they live. She is greatly missed.” —Judith Chettle, Richmond Times-Dispatch
“As befits a Binchy book, this one is packed with charming takes on people’s quirks and foibles, nosy neighbors and friendly ones. Binchy eloquently exposes and explores relationships between parents and children, husbands and wives, longtime and recently acquired friends.” —Daneet Steffens, The Boston Globe
“No one commits any murders or changes the course of world history. Instead, ordinary people deal with relatable problems, conveyed in compassionate, unadorned prose. . . . Here, as in her novels, Binchy’s humor furnishes a lot of the charm.” —Kathy Ewing, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Here, life’s problems, blessings, landmarks and tragedies all happen in many and varied ways. And thankfully, Maeve Binchy’s touch is apparent in each and every story. She will be sorely missed in the world of storytelling.” —Kate Ayers, Bookreporter.com
“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. . . . One finds here insightful observations about human nature—all with Binchy’s thoughtful and loving touch that will be sorely missed.” —Publishers Weekly
“Binchy was well-known for creating realistic characters who interact in ordinary ways, in ordinary places. . . . Her many fans are sure to line up to read this.” —Booklist
“A posthumous collection of loosely linked stories from the much cherished Irish writer who died in 2012. . . . For Binchy aficionados, a late indulgence.” —Kirkus Reviews
Very good! A collection of stories put together.
Not a typical Maeve Binchy Book.
Missing those great books!
Maeve Binchy has always written books that deal with her great understanding of a person's individual personality and how it effects their lives. Read morePublished 4 days ago by A. O.
I've always loved Maeve Binchey's books and these stories were a reinder of how comfortable and cozy her stoires were.Published 6 days ago by bright bookie
I am not a fan of short stories but some of these did hold my attention.Published 7 days ago by Kathy Hodge
Love everything Maeve Binchey has ever written.. Wish there were more !Published 9 days ago by John Currie
Well developed characters each having a link to Chestnut Street and a deep message to be learned in each situationPublished 10 days ago by Lisa Walters
The day Maeve Binchy past away, was a sad day for the literary world, and especially her fans. So when I saw Chestnut Street was being re-released, I had to review it. Read morePublished 15 days ago by the Reading Head
Fun if you like many stories in once book. I don't. It's my fault for not doing more research. I bought this because I was expecting something more along the feel of Rosamunde... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Brittany