Monday, December 27, 2010

This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy


72. This Year It Will Be Different and Other Stories
A Christmas Treasury
by Maeve Binchy
fiction, 1996
finished, 12/13/10

When I wrote about Scarlet Feather, Bellezza left me a comment saying she loved this book, and I promptly ordered a copy for my Christmas collection. I was positive I had read it before, but honestly the stories were not familiar to me so I don't think I did. What a great collection of short stories, all related to the Christmas season. They take place in Ireland, London, Australia, and the United States. Maeve Binchy really stands alone in her understanding of, and caring for, people - all kinds of people; not just those who are easy to love.

There is Elsa Martin who still has her passport for a honeymoon trip to Florida which never happened who decides to use it on this fifth Christmas since the breakup, and has a memorable and meaningful visit to New York City. There is Jen, the second wife who feels she is still competing with the glamourous Tina, the first wife. And Mrs. Doyle, the widow whose adult children take over the job of Christmas because they feel she 'fusses' too much.

This is one of the most wonderful books I've read. There are fifteen stories, each one different from another, filled with the warm-hearted spirit of Christmas. I expect that I will read it again and again.

13 comments:

  1. Oh! I totally forgot about this book. It's on an older TBR list that I very rarely look at, so it was bypassed again. I have to get it for next year. Thanks for the reminder. And, I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it. :)

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  2. Out of curiosity, I decided to check my TBR shelves . . . I have it!

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  3. This is one to make note of for the holiday reading season for 2011.

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  4. I've never read any Maeve Binchy. Maybe I'll begin with this one. I'm not all that fond of family 'saga' type stories and that is possibly why I've never read Binchy. But, there's always a first time. And these stories don't sound like 'saga' type stories at all. Hope you had a great Christmas, Nan, and now, here is 2011 zooming right at us! :)

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  5. LOVE THIS BOOK! You're the only one I know to have read it besides myself, but I reread it every so often when Christmas rolls around, and I revel in the fresh, peaceful perspective that Maeve brings to this holiday season. Often with such a twist!

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  6. I have liked Binchley's straight forward style of writing - also her very descriptive, down to earth Irish sagas. This is another one for the TBR

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  7. Must put that on my wanted list. I got the Scarlet Feather on your recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you.
    I'm now re reading Katie Fforde, perfect!
    Carole

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  8. Isn't this wonderful? I am in the midst of it myself, having first seen it mentioned on an earlier blog, I do believe of yours. I'm late in returning it to the library, but, will just have to pay the fine as I am savoring the stories like a box of chocolates.

    Maybe next year I'll put it on my wish list of requested books.

    Thank you for all your letters of inspiration.

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  9. Thanks for the review Nan. I love Maeve Binchy's books!

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  10. Nan dear,

    I meant to mention this when I read your foodie challenge.

    I just finished reading The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister and it is FABULOUS. I think you should add it to your list. I'm so happy I found it.

    Love to you,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

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  11. I am so glad you have it, because it is well worth owning, Thoughts of Joy. Then you can read the stories you most love again and again. They were perfect reading this Christmas season.

    Staci, I just loved it.

    Yvette, this is a fine one to begin with! She doesn't write those sagas, if what you mean by them is those tales that span the generations. She really is such a lovely writer, with a kind heart that comes right through her words.

    Bellezza, and I so thank you for reminding me of it. I'm so happy I bought the book, and am already looking forward to some of the stories again next Christmas! I'm on a bit of a Maeve roll, and am loving it!

    Mystica, that is perfect - 'down to earth' - she certainly is. And so very kindly. You will love this one.

    Carole, if you liked SF, I am positive this one will please you as well.

    Life on the cutoff, what a very, very nice thing to say. Thank you. There are people in this book I'm still thinking about - ones I want to visit again next year.

    Sherri, me too!!

    Sharon, thank you! I'll look into it.

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  12. Hi Nan. I used to read Maeve Binchy -- this one sounds good, I may start reading her again.

    Does the number (72) mean that you've read that many on your Kindle? (I can't remember if I read that on your blog earlier or not. )

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  13. Sallie, just for fun I number each book I read during the year. This was the 72nd. When I got my Kindle, I started noting which were K. books. This one wasn't. I love reading Maeve again. I haven't read some of the newest and hope to this coming year.

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Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.