A New York Times Bestseller
From the author of A Week in Winter and Minding Frankie: a poignant and heartwarming collection of stories centered on the comings and goings of one delightful street in Dublin
“Packed with charming takes on people's quirks and foibles, nosy neighbors and friendly ones. Binchy eloquently exposes and explores relationships between parents and children, husbands and wives, longtime and recently acquired friends.”—The Boston Globe
Imagined with the humor and understanding that are hallmarks of Maeve Binchy’s storytelling, the world of Chestnut Street captivates us with its joys and sorrows.
Maguire, the window cleaner, must do more than he bargained for in order to protect his son. Nessa Byrne’s aunt visits from America every summer, turning Nessa’s house—and world—upside down. Lilian, a generous girl with a big heart, has a fiancé whom no one approves of. Melly’s gossipy ways help Madame Magic, a self-styled fortune-teller, get everyone on the right track. And Dolly, an awkward young girl, discovers more about her perfect mother than she ever wanted to know.
This posthumously published collection of stories revolving around an imaginary street in Dublin was written by Binchy (A Week in Winter) over a period of decades, and approved by her husband, writer Gordon Snell. The earlier stories are more developed than some of the later tales, but overall, the author gives us one last extraordinary look at ordinary people as they struggle with family relationships, romances gone awry, and the possibility for a better future. Standouts include the first story, "Dolly's Mother," in which a shy, unassuming teenager copes with having a kind, charismatic mother who is more popular than she is, and as is revealed might not be as perfect as everyone thinks. In "It's Only A Day," Binchy fondly portrays the transformation of three childhood friends into adults, using the lens of their disparate views on romance, as old-fashioned values find a place in their modern worlds. The book is filled with vignettes in which dissatisfied husbands leave their wives, but find their new lives wanting; disparate people find common ground, and even romance; and holding one's tongue leads to the best way to make relationships thrive. While some entries come off more as character studies than actual stories, one finds here insightful observations about human nature all with Binchy's thoughtful and loving touch that will be sorely missed.
Interesting short stories but it was hard to stay with them. First time I actually got bored with my favorite author.
Thanks belongs to Maeve’s husband, her dear Gordon, for seeing that her short stories were published. Her devoted fans, who miss her, long to read anything from her brilliantly creative mind. It was a lovely visit to Chestnut Street.
Too many characters!
By the time you get interested in each character she goes on to the next one leaving you totally unsatisfied with each one. It would have been much better if she had expanded on about half as many! She is a great writer but this book leaves you with too many unfinished stories!