It was the quiet ones you had to watch. That's where the real passion was lurking.
They came together at Mountainview College, a down-at-the-heels secondary school on the seamy side of Dublin, to take a course in Italian. It was Latin teacher Aidan Dunne's last chance to revive a failing marriage and a dead-end career. But Aidan's dream was headed for disaster until the mysterious Signora appeared, transforming a shared passion for Italy into a life-altering adventure for them all . . . bank clerk Bill and his dizzy fiance Lizzie: a couple headed for trouble . . . Kathy, a hardworking innocent propelled into adulthood in a shocking moment of truth . . . Connie, the gorgeous rich lady with a scandal ready to explode . . . glowering Lou, who joined the class as a cover for crime. And Signora, whose passionate past remained a secret as she changed all their lives forever. . . .
From the New York Times bestselling author of This Year It Will Be Different, The Glass Lake, and Circle of Friends, comes a novel filled with Maeve Binchy's signature warmth, wit, and sheer storytelling genius—a spellbinding tale of men and women whose quiet lives hide the most unexpected things. . . .
A banker with a spendthrift girlfriend; a studious teenager with an overprotective older sister; a thug looking to go straight while needing a place to stash illegal goods--the lives of these and many other Dubliners are touched by Signora, nee Nora O'Donoghue, whose adult education class, "Introduction to Italian," becomes a lesson in what it means to be alive, in Binchy's richly satisfying new novel. After being passed over for the principal's job he desperately wants, underappreciated teacher Aidan Dunne is offered, as a pacifier, the job of spearheading a program of adult education classes. He recruits Nora, whose repatriation to Ireland is precipitated by the death of her longtime married Sicilian lover, to teach Italian language and culture. The stage is thus set for La Signora to work her magic, drawing out the secrets and the romance in her students' lives. Readers uninitiated into the quotidian charms of Binchy's popular world (The Glass Lake) may find it offputting that Signora, who by many standards has masochistically mismanaged her own affairs, should prove a beacon to others. But those in the know will recognize the trademark Binchy willingness to let people be as they are, unjudged. Also familiar will be the leisurely unfolding of the story, as well as themes concerning the inevitable clash of traditional and contemporary mores, and the gap between familial duty and having a life. You didn't love people to change them," one character observes here. Fans of Binchy's nimble storytelling skills, and of her characters, who are always decent without being dull, won't want to change a thing. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; first serial to Good Housekeeping; TV satellite tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A very enjoyable read! I loved the way it highlighted how people are connected and effect each other’s lives no matter how different they are.
I love this authors books. The characters are wonderful and the plots so original.