Maeve Binchy

(30 Posts)
Jux Tue 07-May-13 13:37:45

Has anyone read anything by her?

I am reading my first ever book of hers, called Whitethorn Woods. So far it's lots of vignettes of different people, almost all written in the first person. Every 'voice' is exactly the same. It's really rather dull. Is she usually like this?

I like her but much prefer the early ones. Light a Penny Candle is old but brilliant.

Jux Tue 07-May-13 15:57:12

Thanks. The style of this is terribly simplistic; is that typical?

Primrose123 Tue 07-May-13 16:04:33

I agree with Light a Penny Candle, it's brilliant. Echoes was very popular too, although I wasn't so keen. Tara Road is good, and so is The Glass Lake and Evening Class, but I agree that the later books aren't as good as the earlier ones.

Whitethorn Woods is not one of Maeve Binchy's best books in my opinion.

DuchessofMalfi Tue 07-May-13 17:49:07

I love Circle of Friends.

I loved the two I read, but I was 15 or so when I read them.
Echoes and light a penny candle, I may download them for nostalgia's sake.

Jux Tue 07-May-13 18:53:54

Terra, I'm not sure a 15 year old would bother with this! I am a bit desperate for something to read but can't afford to get any more books, even from charity shops. Waiting for dh to finish the 'brilliant' book he has nearly finished... The World House - come across it? (Please tell me it's good, please tell me it's good.)

superbagpuss Tue 07-May-13 18:55:09

its comfort reading, the older ones are better but all dated now

sittinginthesun Tue 07-May-13 18:56:06

Older ones are much better.

katecreate Tue 07-May-13 19:04:49

I really like 'Evening Class'.There's lots of characters and all their stories intertwine. It's just a nice little book.

I tried reading something else of Binchy's, can't remember what, but couldn't get through it.

Jux Tue 07-May-13 19:11:38

Bagpuss, I suspect comfort reading if you first read them when younger than I am.

Comfort reading for me is stuff I read in my teens and twenties, mainly. I'm in my 50s!

superbagpuss Tue 07-May-13 19:40:23

jux I'm in my 30's now but started reading them in my teens

I mean they are light and not too complex, just keep bubbling along which is what you need in a book sometimes.

to accommodate my DT I had to lose a lot of my books and my whole set went ..... to my mum grin

Jux Tue 07-May-13 22:00:41

grin

Hassled Tue 07-May-13 22:02:42

Tara Road - I loved that. And then some of the characters live again in Scarlet Feather and something else I've forgotten.

It's not what you'd call a challenging read but you can sort of lose yourself - it's comfort reading, really.

Willabywallaby Tue 07-May-13 22:20:07

My Mum loves Maeve, I've read most of her books and agree the older ones are better. My book club slated a book of short stories I suggested. She no literary genius, but they are naice easy read books IMO.

wiltingfast Thu 09-May-13 09:05:30

I think the early ones are much better. Light a penny candle etc. Hated the older ones and read nothing else after Tara Road.

Think most writers do their best work in their first books. Mairian Keyes is another example. When they start just churning them out the books lose vitality somehow.

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 12:03:23

That's one of her later ones and imo they weren't that great.

Light a Penny Candle is fantastic imo.

Jux Fri 10-May-13 12:21:24

I finally finished it a day ago, and was soooooo relieved it was over. A book like that would normally take a couple of days to read as it is easy reading and there's nothing much to think too carefully about. This took twice yhe time because I kept falling asleep over it.

I'm sorry I started with a crap one as I am really not going to trouble myself with anything by her again, even though you all (and a few people in rl) say the candle one is great. There are enough consistently good authors I enjoy out there...... grin thank goodness.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 10-May-13 12:24:47

if you are desperate for books can I suggest the library and the kindle app (you can get it on a pc as well as a smartphone or tablet), they have a number of free books (although maybe a lot not worth reading) and also have lots of v cheap (20p) books.

ScienceRocks Fri 10-May-13 12:25:08

Oh, please give her another chance! I agree with others saying that her early stuff is much better. Light A Penny Candle, Echoes, Firefly Summer, Circle of Friends are all great.

mrsshackleton Fri 10-May-13 12:34:02

Agree, earlier ones are superb. MB much underrated. She really understood human psychology. Anything post Tara Road, not worth it, MB's husband died, she didn't want to write but the publishers forced her to keep churning out

ChasingSquirrels Fri 10-May-13 12:35:23

I am sure her husband is still alive

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 12:55:51

I'm sure he's still alive it's Maeve that died recently. She announced her retirement but then continued to write which always seemed odd to me, not sure about publishers forcing her to do it.

mrsshackleton Fri 10-May-13 13:36:54

Sorry you're right, he didn't die, he was v sick

They did force her, have insider knowledge <taps nose>

valiumredhead Fri 10-May-13 13:44:21

Ooooooo really? Is that why the later books were so shit, was she rebelling? How could they force her, was she locked into a contract? -- you can always PM me-- wink

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