- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; BCE edition (March 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307273563
- ISBN-13: 978-0307273567
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (735 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Minding Frankie Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 1, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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Reading a Maeve Binchy novel is like settling in for a cozy visit with an old friend. In vintage Binchy style, a cast of colorfully eccentric characters living in a snug Dublin neighborhood seamlessly weave in and out of each other’s lives, united by family, faith, friendship, and community. When a young alcoholic learns he has fathered a child with a dying woman, he must step into the role of father, protector, and provider to his infant daughter, Frankie, in a matter of weeks. Determined to succeed, though totally unprepared for his new responsibilities, Noel gets an essential assist from his visiting American cousin. Exercising her tremendous gifts of organization and insight, Emily cobbles together a neighborhood support system, featuring a few familiar faces from previous Binchy books. As everybody begins to mind Frankie, a suspicious social worker pokes her nose in where it doesn’t belong, attempting to dredge up any dirt she can on Noel and his slightly unorthodox network of babysitters. Readers will need a box of tissues handy as the good-hearted residents of St. Jarlath’s Crescent prove that it does indeed take a village to raise a child. --Margaret Flanagan
“One of Binchy’s best works. She harmoniously handles a diverse group of characters, the good deeds that characterize life in Ireland are believable, and the ending is sweet. One hopes to find Frankie in one of Binchy’s future novels.” —Susan Rogers, Newark Star-Ledger
“Binchy’s world view is a large, benevolent one, and the reader is happier for it . . . bless her big Irish heart.” —Laurie Hertzel, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Maeve Binchy has done it again [with] yet another warm tale of individual growth and human community, [in which] she assembles a large cast of characters and deploys them with her characteristic playfulness . . . Binchy specializes in exploring human foibles without spelling them out in tiresome detail . . . There’s a good chance that many readers, like this one, will consider Minding Frankie one of Binchy’s best novels yet.” —Maude McDaniel, BookPage
“Joyful, quintessential Binchy.” —Karen Holt, O, The Oprah Magazine
“All across America, Maeve Binchy fans will be kicking off their shoes, making a nice cup of tea, and curling up on the couch as they re-enter Binchy’s cozy world. The Irish author returns here to a charming Dublin milieu of favorite characters from past novels, with some important new ones.” —Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times
“Binchy is a national treasure in her homeland of Ireland, and her latest novel is a perfect illustration of why.…Your heart will have no trouble recognizing the landscape [of this] touching saga.” —Publishers Weekly
“Reading a Maeve Binchy novel is like settling in for a cozy visit with an old friend. In vintage Binchy style, a cast of colorfully eccentric characters living in a snug Dublin neighborhood seamlessly weave in and out of each other’s lives, united by family, faith, friendship and community....Readers will need a box of tissues handy as the good-hearted residents of St. Jarlath’s Crescent prove that it does indeed take a ‘village to raise a child.’” —Margaret Flanagan, Booklist
Enhance your reading group’s discussion of Minding Frankie with these group discussion questions. [PDF]
Top Customer Reviews
Once upon a time I was a regular Maeve Binchy reader, but I'd long ago drifted away--having grown tired of too many plots based around class issues and out-of-wedlock pregnancies and miserable marriages there was no way out of--and I'd moved on to other authors like Colm Toibin, William Trevor, Anabel Davis Goff and Deirdre Madden. But when I was offered an opportunity to get an advance look at the newest Binchy novel, I took it and I'm glad I did. I'd forgotten how gifted Binchy is at creating a cast of characters you quickly come to care about and bringing them and their stories so vividly to life.
While misery, unwed motherhood, unrequited love and alcoholism all figure prominently into this story, they're more than balanced out by the determined efforts and optimism of a can-do American cousin and the arrival of a motherless child. Watching cousin Emily and wee Frankie give a whole neighborhood a new lease on life makes for a very good read and I recommend it.
I was so excited to get this advanced copy that I managed to read this within two days ... it helps that I am snowed in as well. I hated to see the end of this book as I didn't want to let go of the characters. I hope Binchy will write another one soon ... especially about that annoying social worker, Moira. I'd like to know what happened to her!! She is probably the most annoying and pathetic character I have yet to read from Binchy's collection. Unable to grasp that a recovering alcoholic can raise a baby and do it so well with the love and support of so many, Moira always expect the worst of people.
A lot of familiar characters have been re-introduced such as Muttie and Lizzie Scarlet, the twins, Noel, the young and dashing doctor who is happily married and his parents; they all play a minor role in this novel but their lives are entwined with Noel, the young father mentioned above. Noel was a drifting loner, bored out of his skull with his life and finding solace in the bottom of his cups.Read more ›
You will find yourself rooting for the protagonist at the heart of MINDING FRANKIE. Noel is an ex-alcoholic who is teetering precariously on the precipice of sobriety when he is faced with raising a baby on his own. The cast of characters he surrounds himself with are all supportive and come to his aid when he needs help with Frankie, the baby girl he "inherits." The characters are the real heart of this novel. They are funny, sympathetic, flawed and real people whom we come to know well and identify with. I couldn't wait to crawl into bed each night and escape to the Emerald Isle with all my new "friends."
While we are introduced to new characters in MINDING FRANKIE there are a lot of familiar faces from Binchy's previous works. This is a stand-alone novel, but many of the characters were introduced in other books such as QUENTINS, SCARLET FEATHER and HEART AND SOUL. It is not necessary to read the other books before starting MINDING FRANKIE, but it certainly enhances the reading experience by having a past with them.
The reason I called this book timeless is because if it weren't for the occasional reference to cell phones, the internet and other modern conveniences one would find it diificult to determine if this book takes place in 1950 or 2011. The story is classic and transcends time.Read more ›
"Minding Frankie" is full of varied and interesting character-types and each has his or her own private struggle. Binchy has been writing about the people of Ireland for a generation now, and she moves with the times. She is tuned in to the present whether it be modern technology, the economy, generational issues, the changing Catholic Church, etc. she allows her characters, both young and old, to cope with and adjust to the changing times without ever losing the core of what it means to be "Irish".
I'm not going to tell you who Frankie is, I liked finding out myself as the story unfolded. Nor will I say anything about the plot(s); others will.
One of the things her loyal readers love the most about a Binchy novel, is that her characters are so relatable. We can easily see our own human failing and foibles in them, and it somehow makes it easier to forgive ourselves through forgiving them.
Binchy is expert as deftly describing the small dramas of everyday life, and also the larger dramas of illness, alcoholism, death. And always, always she presents the dramas of love. Binchy's characters long for love, find love and lose love just like everyone we know. The emotions are universal.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting read in the style of the author. She also adds characters from previous books which adds a lovely setting to the entire story.Published 4 days ago by Celtic Italiana
It started off interesting. The main story might have made a decent short story. But new one-dimensional characters continually came in the scene, to supplement the main... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Peggie
I really loved this book !! It was just full of stories with lots of surprises in between.Published 20 days ago by Dr. G
Very interesting read, I liked the connection to some pieces of Tara Rd.
Sad in parts. Some frustrating pieces with Noel. Read more
Funny how love brings people together. These people could be next door neighbor's.Published 23 days ago by Joanne B. Miles
This is my first Binchey novel. I enjoyed it and her style of writing. I would have liked a happier ending for one of the characters, not mentioning the name here for future... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Betsy