Friday, February 4, 2022

Review: Maeve's Times by Maeve Binchy

Title:  Maeve's Times

Author: Maeve Binchy

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Knopf

Publish Date: October 28, 2014

Source: Owned

What's the Story?:

From "Maeve Binchy once confessed: "As someone who fell off a chair not long ago trying to hear 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." She was an accidental journalist, yet from the beginning, her writings reflected the warmth, wit, and keen human interest that readers would come to love in her fiction. 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."

My Two Cents:

Maeve Binchy's writing for me is the equivalent of a warm hug or a warm cup of tea. It is comforting and fills you up with sweetness. Losing her almost ten years ago now was a hard loss for the literary world but fortunately, she left behind a wealth of writing to go back to. This particular book is a collection of her writing for The Irish Times. It covers every decade from the 1960s until the 2000s. Within the pages, you can see the changing times all through her witty, warm lens. 

A keen observer of the world around her, these articles are at their best when they are recounting the ordinary everyday and turning it into the extraordinary universal. I loved the article about her striking up conversations on the airplane with strangers (whether or not she wanted to). Being a fellow royal watcher, I also really liked reading her observations as some of the big events in the British Royal Family happened (imagining Fergie trying to put on her best behavior before another showing, royal weddings, etc.). 

I also loved that this book covered such a wide swath of time. You can see how Binchy's writing changed and progressed as well as how the times and things around her changed. This is a great book for both those who already know and love Binchy's writing as well as those who are new to her. This could be the beginning of a beautiful reading relationship!


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