Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chestnut Street - #BookBeginnings on Friday and #TheFriday56

My husband likes to read "real" books, so every once in a while, we go to Barnes & Noble to satisfy his habit. Though most of my reading is done on my Kindle, I always seem to come home with some great paperbacks or hardbacks for myself too. My latest find (a bargain from the "Former Bestsellers" table) was CHESTNUT STREET by Maeve Binchy. Each chapter is a short story that takes place on Chestnut Street in Dublin, Ireland. I'm about halfway through, and I've enjoyed meeting the Chestnut Street neighbors. My only complaint is that I wish some of these stories had turned into full-length novels! 

Book Beginning (from the first story "Dolly's Mother"):
    It was all the harder because her mother had been so beautiful. If only Dolly's mother had been a round, bunlike woman, or a small wrinkled person, it might have been easier for Dolly, this business of growing up. But no, there were no consolations on that score. Mother was tall and willowy and had a smile that made other people smile too and a laugh that caused strangers to look up with pleasure. Mother always knew what to say and said it; Mother wore long lilac silk scarves so elegantly they seemed to flow with her when she walked. If Dolly tried to wear a scarf, either it looked like a bandage or else she got mistaken for a football fan. If you were square and solid and without color or grace, it was sometimes easy to hate Mother.

The Friday 56 (from "Nessa Byrne" at Page 56 in my hardback): 
[Nessa's family is preparing for the annual visit from their Aunt Elizabeth, a woman who "... knew all about everything and she was never wrong."]
     Aunt Elizabeth's bedroom was emptied of all the clutter that had built up there in the year since her last visit. They touched up the paintwork and lined the nice empty drawers with clean pink paper.
     Nessa's mother often said with a weary laugh that if it hadn't been for Elizabeth's annual vacation the whole place would have been a complete tip.

Genre: Women's Fiction / Family Life
Amazon Link: Chestnut Street
Length: 368 Pages
Author's Website: Maeve Binchy

Synopsis from Goodreads:
    Maeve Binchy imagined a street in Dublin with many characters coming and going, and every once in a while she would write about one of these people. She would then put it in a drawer; “for the future,” she would say. The future is now.
    Across town from St. Jarlath’s Crescent, featured in Minding Frankie, is Chestnut Street, where neighbors come and go. Behind their closed doors we encounter very different people with different life circumstances, occupations, and sensibilities. Some of the unforgettable characters lovingly brought to life by Binchy are Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son; Nessa Byrne, whose aunt visits from  America every summer and turns the house—and Nessa’s world—upside down; Lilian, the generous girl with the big heart and a fiancĂ© whom no one approves of; Melly, whose gossip about the neighbors helps Madame Magic, a self-styled fortune-teller, get everyone on the right track; Dolly, who discovers more about her perfect mother than she ever wanted to know; and Molly, who learns the cure for sleeplessness from her pen pal from Chicago . . . 
    Chestnut Street is written with the humor and understanding that are earmarks of Maeve Binchy’s extraordinary work and, once again, she warms our hearts with her storytelling.


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Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
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  1. Oh, I used to love Maeve Binchy books and stories and then one year I read her Christmas short story collection and I hated all the stories, they were so depressing. It put me off the author. I haven't read anything by her since that time, which is probably a shame.

  2. It's also been a long time since I've read any Maeve Binchy. But I used to enjoy her books so much. This one looks great. Thanks fro sharing. My Friday Book is The Muse, which I so enjoyed.

  3. I did notice that many of the stories involved cheating husbands and unwed mothers, but there were some happier ones too.

  4. This looks like an interesting collection of stories. It seems like something I would read. Thanks for mentioning it.

  5. I haven't read short stories for a while. Sounds like I should!

  6. I've been told that Binchy is great - and I do like the sound of those snippets!

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings).

  7. I just finished a book that took place over 24 hours. Each chapter was one hour in the day and introduced a character or characters staying at a hotel. It was fun, but I did want to know more about some of them.This sounds like a fun book.

    My Friday 56 from Doggone It

  8. I love Maeve Binchy's writing, and how she makes me want to curl up with lots of cups of tea (or coffee), and settle into the lives of her characters.

    I think I must have missed this one. I must check it out. I also love going to Barnes & Noble and finding "real" books, usually on the bargain table, but they are still treasures.

    Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “GIRL ON THE RUN”

  9. I love the idea of this one! *Hang head in shame* - I've never read a Maeve Binchy.... Really need to go. Enjoy your "visit" to the Dublin street! Here's my Friday Meets:

  10. I have never read a book by Maeve Binchy.

    Nice post.

    ENJOY your weekend, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  11. It's been ages since I read one of Maeve Binchy's books and I haven't read this one. Funny - you're in a Dublin street and I'm in an Edinburgh one :)

  12. I like this author. Sounds like a good one. I'll have to check it out. Enjoy!

  13. My mom used to be a big Maeve Binchy fan but I've never read one. I'm glad you are enjoying it. This week I am spotlighting Project Elfhome by Wen Spencer - a linked short story collection. Happy reading!

  14. I often feel like that about short story collections! I've never read any Maeve Binchy before but it sounds good! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  15. I enjoyed this one--and every other Maeve Binchy book I've read. She's a favorite author of mine.

  16. I don't think I've ever actually read this author although I do have a few of hers in my TBR.

  17. I must learn about choosing an identity. I simply am not doing it right.
    Thank you, Sandy, for showcasing Maeve Binchy. What a classy writer. It's been a few years since I've picked up one of her novels.
    She always turned out first-rate stuff.

    Kelly Marshall.

  18. Isn't the problem with short story books? You want more of certain stories. Hope you enjoy the rest of the books and your weekend!

  19. What a fun sounding book and great description. I love the opening, I am a major fan of wearing scarves so it really caught my attention. I can also see them lining the drawers clearly with pink paper. Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Friday!

  20. Sounds like a great read! Happy weekend!

  21. Love Maeve Binchy! She never disappoints.

  22. I've never reading anything by this author, but this one sounds good - thanks for sharing!


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