Friday, March 18, 2011
Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
23. Minding Frankie
by Maeve Binchy
seventh book for the Ireland Reading Challenge
Kindle book - 11
Well, here I am. I've finished the latest Maeve Binchy book, and I'm sad I don't have another one to go on to. I am especially sad because it felt like Minding Frankie might be the last visit with these Dubliners. The reader is now all caught up with their stories. People have married, had children, begun careers, moved away, and died. I stayed up two nights reading this book - one till 5 am and the other till 3:30. I just couldn't put it down until tiredness overcame me. I adore this cast of characters, and it is such a joy to see so many of them doing well.
This is the story of a baby girl, Frances Stella, nicknamed Frankie, and all the people in her life. Out of the blue, a fellow named Noel Lynch is told by a dying young woman, Stella Dixon that she is carrying his child, the 'result' of a very short relationship. Stella wants him to raise the child who will be born via Caesarean section. She will not live through this operation, and will never see her little girl. The raising of his daughter is the making of Noel. He goes to Alcoholics Anonymous, starts night school classes, and moves out of his childhood home. The famous saying, 'it takes a village to raise a child' was never better illustrated than in this marvelous book. Relatives and friends, old and new, share in the taking care of, the 'minding' of Frankie. Many of these people we know from the other books: Fiona, Declan, Muttie and Lizzie, the twins Maude and Simon, Clara. And as always in a Maeve Binchy book, we meet some new endearing folks like Emily and 'Hat.' All except one. The social worker, Moira is just awful, and I felt that she featured way too much in the story. She had a tough childhood (though not as awful as some) and she's become a grouchy, controlling, insensitive person who is trying to make perfect families unlike the one she has. To balance her, there is Lisa, whose parents are much like Moira's but she isn't nearly as difficult a person. But she is one of those Binchy characters who drives me wild - the woman who just can't let go of a man who isn't Mr. Right. These two situations aside, it was a perfect, perfect story.
This has been such a fantastic few months of rereading, and reading this wonderful author with the biggest heart I've ever come across in literature. All my book reports may be found in the 'book lists' or 'book reports' tabs under the blog header picture.
And though I technically finished the Ireland Reading Challenge with the book Bog Child, I hope to continue on with the many Irish books I have on the shelf.