There was never any question that Deirdre and Desmond Doyle would celebrate a gala twenty-fifth anniversary. Naturally, their daughter Anna, would plan their grand affair. Of all three Doyle children, Anna knew exactly what their mother wished—even as she lived her own secret life. Will Brendan, the rebellious son, even bother to return to London? Will Helen, the hapless would-be nun, embarrass them all? This is Deirdre’s day, a triumph for a woman obsessed with keeping up appearances, her silvery revenge after “marrying down” twenty-five years ago. She’s determined to show them all: the maid of honor, still unmarried, still gorgeous, now a successful London business woman…the best man, once Desmond’s close friend, now his boss…their reluctant priest, who harbors his own guilty secret.
As family and friends gather, a lifetime of lies takes its toll. But what begins as a family charade brings with it the transforming power of love—and truth.
The arrangements for celebrating Desmond and Deirdre Doyle's forthcoming silver wedding anniversary fall to Anna, their eldest daughter, who works in a pretentious London bookshop. Anna proceeds to make a list of guests, most important of whom, besides her parents and herself, are her sister Helen, brother Brendan, and three other participants in the wedding ceremony: the best man, Frank Quigley; Maureen Barry, the maid of honor; and Father Hurley. Each leisurely chapter deals with one of these characters, detailing their lives in the 25 years since the Doyle's marriage. Binchy ( Firefly Summer) exhibits her gift for astute and loving characterization as she examines the way relationships and families work. She engagingly delineates the pressures, both stated and unstated, that repel or attract, the striving for approval from parents and lovers. At the silver wedding celebration, when the obligatory photograph is taken for the family album, the reader knows well what fears and doubts, secrets and achievements lie behind the happy smiles. Readers Digest Condensed Book selection; BOMC featured alternate; major ad/promo.
I love Maeve Binchey. I’ve read all of her books. This one was a bit more complicated than the others but was still an adventure of life in Great Britain.