Shortly after the passing of Maeve Binchy on July 30, 2012, Guelph Public Library staff posted a memorial picture surrounded by some of her books. Patrons reacted with sadness, as many had not heard that the Irish author had died. Many asked to borrow a favourite book to reread as a tribute to the beloved author.
The death of Maeve Binchy (at the age of 72) was mourned around the globe. Her obituary in The Guardian indicated that her books were sold in 37 languages! Reading a Binchy book is like comfort food to me, and it always leads me to a happier place. Her books are character-driven, the plots are gripping, and they transport me to communities where people ultimately learn to rely on one another for support and affection.
If you enjoy reading a book and then seeing it on film, you might want to try Tara Road or the dramatic Circle of Friends. The movie version starred Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell and was loosely based on Binchy’s days at University College, Dublin. It is a memorable film with the right mixture of humor and drama that is well-acted and directed. Note that the film has a different ending from the book…
After graduating from University, Binchy worked as a teacher, then a columnist, editor, and writer. She married broadcaster and writer Gordon Snell and they permanently settled in Ireland where she continue to write.
The last Binchy book I read was the delightful Minding Frankie. Set in Ireland, the book focuses on Noel, a former alcoholic, who is raising a baby as a single father. Memorable characters interact with Noel, and made me laugh (like Josie and Charles who instigate a charity campaign to raise money for a large statue honoring a long dead saint) and cry. Binchy was not afraid to explore the complexity of family relationships, and the abundance of human foibles. The romantic in me enjoyed that Noel, Emily, and Maud eventually found true love.
Prior to Binchy’s death, she had turned in a manuscript for a new book called A Week In Winter and was working on edits at the time of her death. The title is set for publication on Oct. 9, 2012. Fans are waiting with anticipation for the release of this last Binchy book!
If you are seeking an author similar to Maeve Binchy you should try the new novel This Is How It Ends by Kathleen MacMahon about an American visiting Ireland in search of his family roots.