Chestnut Street

From Margaret Mezzacapo

Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy

When I reviewed A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy, I noted that it was the last book she wrote before her death. Turns out, not quite . . . Chestnut Street is a collection of short stories published posthumously. The common thread is that all of the characters live on the same street, albeit with different lives and circumstances, and serve as proof that appearances can be deceiving. People can differ significantly from the images they project (although you’ve never met such a large cast of philandering husbands and deserting fathers in any of Binchy’s prior works). The stories seem a little disjointed at times, yet you’ll still hear the lilt of the characters’ accents as you read along, and you’ll still wish that there would be more Maeve Binchy books to come.

A Week in Winter

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

Ah, Maeve. Opening one of her books transports you to Ireland. You can hear the voices of the characters as if you were there, and feel like you’re part of Irish daily life. You’ll be rooting for the characters (except maybe one) in all their ups and downs at a bed and breakfast operated by the heroine of the tale.

What makes this book extraordinarily poignant is that this is Binchy’s last book. It’s sad to think that her creative writing and entrancing voice have been silenced. Rest easy, Maeve, and thanks for the pleasure you’ve given us.