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Ria and Marilyn have never met - they live thousands of miles apart, separated by the Atlantic Ocean: one in a big, warm, Victorian house in Tara Road, Dublin, the other in a modern, open-plan house in New England. Two more unlikely friends would be hard to find: Ria's life revolves around her family and friends, while Marilyn's reserve is born of grief. But when each needs a place to escape to, a house exchange seems the ideal solution.
Maeve Binchy's best-selling novels not only tell wonderful stories, they also give an insight into how Ireland has changed over the decades but how people remain the same: they still fall in love, sometimes unsuitably; they still have hopes and dreams; they have deep, long-standing friendships, and some that fall apart. From her earliest writing to her most recent, Maeve's work has included wonderfully nostalgic pieces and also sharp, often witty writing which is insightful and topical.
" Firefly Summer is warm, humorous, sad and happy. Reading it is a joy." ( Irish Independent) In the summer of 1962, an American millionaire arrives in a small, sleepy Irish town with far-reaching consequences. For the children of the Ryan family, the long hot summers are usually spent playing in the ruins of a large, abandoned house. But when the American, Patrick O'Neill, buys the ruins, dreams are made and broken and secrets which should never be revealed are betrayed.
As a child Elizabeth is sent from her war-torn, rather loveless home in London to stay with a big, boisterous family in a small town in Ireland. There she meets Aisling and begins what becomes a long-lasting friendship. Over the next 20 years, Aisling and Elizabeth's paths will cross and recross. As they face their loves, their marriages, and their disappointments, they realise that not all problems will be solved,nor all wishes granted by lighting a penny candle.
From the royal wedding to boring airplane companions, Samuel Beckett to Margaret Thatcher, "senior moments" to life as a waitress,
Maeve's Times gives us wonderful insight into a changing Ireland as it celebrates the work of one of our best-loved writers in all its diversity - revealing her characteristic directness, laugh-out-loud humor, and unswerving gaze into the true heart of a matter.
Kit McMahon lives in the small Irish town of Lough Glass, a place where nothing changes - until the day Kit's mother disappears and Kit is haunted by the memory of her mother, alone at the kitchen table, tears streaming down her face. Now Kit, too, has secrets: of the night she discovered a letter and burned it, unopened. The night her mother was lost. The night everything changed forever....
Every table at Quentins Restaurant has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, betrayal and revenge. Ella Brady wants to make a documentary about the renowned Dublin restaurant that has captured the spirit of a generation and a city in the years it has been open. In Maeve Binchy's magical Quentins, you will meet new friends and old: the twins from Scarlet Feather , the signora from Evening Class, Ria from Tara Road - and a host of fresh faces.
The Mountainview School in working-class Dublin boasts a brightly festooned room brimming with paper flowers and Renaissance posters. There, in an evening class, "An Introduction to Italian," come Aiden Dunne, the supervisor, Signora, the professoressa, and 30 or so students, whose hopes and dreams are bound up in the Tuesday and Thursday lessons.
Evacuated from Blitz-battered London, shy and genteel Elizabeth White is sent to stay with the boisterous O'Connors in Kilgarret, Ireland. It is the beginning of an unshakeable bond between Elizabeth and Aisling O'Connor, a friendship which will endure through 20 turbulent years of change and chaos, joy and sorrow, soaring dreams and searing betrayals.
In the small Irish town of Knockglen, best friends Bernadette ('Benny') and Eve are inseparable. Benny is an adored only child, and Eve a poor, birdlike orphan brought up by nuns. On their first day at University College, Dublin, a fatal road accident brings the pair together with fellow students Nan Mahon and Jack Foley, and new friendships are quickly struck. Jack and Nan introduce Eve and Benny to a life of excitement and sophistication.
evening class at Mountainview School is like hundreds of others starting up all over the city. But this class has its own special quality - as the focus for the varied hopes and dreams of teacher and pupils alike. Aidan Dunne needs his new evening class project to succeed almost as much as his pupils do. They too are looking for something more: Bill to find a way to keep spendthrift Lizzie at his side and Fran to make sure that young Kathy finds her way out from behind the kitchen sink.
A delectable collection of 22 short stories centred around people travelling on the London Underground. We meet a young couple travelling nervously to Seven Sisters for their first wife-swapping party; there's Annie's Pimlico Hotel, which is only open for specially chosen guests; Rita, the mysterious temp who lives in Notting Hill Gate; and Sophie, who runs a handbag shop at Marble Arch. All the stories have in common Maeve Binchy's delicious humour and warmth.
A society hostess entertains her husband's mistress to dinner; a country girl savours the delights of city life; a student faces the dilemma of unmarried pregnancy; and a drink-ridden photographer tries to relaunch his shattered career.A vintage collection of four stories set in the heart of Dublin's fashionable Southside, Dublin 4 has all of the author's intimate grasp of human feelings and her marvellous ear for dialogue.
This is the story of two very different children growing up in a small Irish seaside town in the '50s and '60s. Shouting their hearts' desires into the echo cave, praying that their destiny will lead them far away from the town in which they live. Castlebay, in winter empty and grey with wind and sea spray, becomes all bustle and colour in the gaudy days of summer. The paths of these two characters are destined to criss-cross in a quite unforeseen way, and eventually both roads will lead back to Castlebay.
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, who's 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.
As someone who fell off a chair not long ago trying to hear they what they were saying at the next table in a restaurant, I suppose I am obsessively interested in what some might consider the trivia of other people's lives'. Maeve Binchy is well known for her best-selling novels, the most recent of which was A Week in Winter. But for many years Maeve was a journalist, writing for The Irish Times.
High on the cliffs of the west coast of Ireland, overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean, is Stone House. Once falling into disrepair, it is now a beautiful hotel specialising in winter holidays. With a big, warm kitchen, log fires and understated, elegant bedrooms, it provides a welcome few can resist, whatever their reasons for coming...Henry and Nicola are burdened with a terrible secret, and are hoping the break at Stone House will help them find a way to face the future.
Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather have decided to create the best catering company in Dublin. They have the perfect premises, heaps of talent, and even a few contacts - but not everyone seems as pleased by the idea of 'Scarlet Feather' as they are. Tom's parents are disappointed that he has turned his back on the family business. Cathy's husband buries himself in work, becoming ever more distant, whilst his mother thinks Cathy should stay at home to look after him.
Baby Frankie is born into an unusual family. Her mother is desperate to find someone to take care of her child, and she doesn’t have much time. Noel doesn’t seem to be the most promising of fathers but despite everything, he could well be Frankie’s best hope. As for Lisa, she is prepared to give up everything for the man she loves; surely he’s going to love her back? And Moira is having none of it. She knows what’s right, and has the power to change the course of Frankie’s life.
By the school house at Shancarrig stands a copper Beech, its bark scarred with the names and dreams of the pupils who have grown up under its branches. Under Junior Assistant Mistress Maddy Ross's careful gaze the children play, but out of school Maddy's gaze lingers where it shouldn't. Maura Brennan, a bundle of fun from the rough end of town, plays with her pals