- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (February 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781101971666
- ISBN-13: 978-1101971666
- ASIN: 1101971665
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 200 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Few of the Girls: Stories Paperback – February 7, 2017
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“Marvelous. . . . Unfailingly wise.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Brim[s] with Maeve’s warmth and common sense. . . . The stories bring to life well-developed characters, often in the space of a few paragraphs.” —Irish Independent
“When it comes to capturing the caprices of the human heart, she’s unbeatable. . . . There’s no better antidote to a raw March evening than a dose of vintage Binchy.” —BookPage
“Featur[es] some of her best works . . . a fine tribute to a very fine author.” —Image
“These stories are full of warmth and humour . . . easy to read and an ideal present for any of her fans.” —Woman’s Way
About the Author
Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined The Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982, and she went on to write more than twenty books, all of them best sellers. Several have been adapted for film and television, most notably Circle of Friendsand Tara Road, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for thirty-five years, and died in 2012 at the age of seventy-two.
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"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.
When I saw this short story collection, I purchased it, not so much because I was expecting something new, but more to get a sense of the old and familiar, warm and cozy feelings I have always experienced reading Ms. Binchy's books. This is a mixed collection: some stories are well-written with insight into the flaws and frailties of Binchy's characters, and those ah-ha moments that her writing is known for. However, there are also many stories that I felt were not reflective of Binchy's tremendous talent and wit and seemed like they were unfinished or incomplete - perhaps these were just stories she had kept in a portfolio someplace that were not intended for publication, they seem raw and unpolished and lack insight, seeming rather banal. Unlike her earlier works, there is no deep sense of setting (one of the things I have always enjoyed about Binchy's novels is how they were able to transport me to Ireland). Whatever the reason, I am not sorry that I read this, but would caution readers not to expect something spectacular. Think of it instead as a way to re-connect and remember Ms. Binchy, who will always remain a beloved and much missed Irish storyteller.
BUT – This is a collection of short stories, about eight to ten pages each. Readers should not expect a novel, but anywhere from four to ten stories in each of the six categories.
Binchy passed away several years ago, so I am always happy when her husband, Gordon Snell, finds more of her work. This is absolutely no exception.
Some other reviewers here have noted that many of these stories lack Binchy's characteristic optimistic endings. I think that reflects the fact that they were written at different times in her career. Some of Binchy's early books (for example, Firefly Summer) were much darker in tone than the later ones.