“I use Grammarly’s plagiarism detector because it is a lot more efficient than hiring a proof reader.”
If you have been reading my blog, you would already know that I am a Maeve Binchy fan and that she died last year. If you have not been reading my blog and have no idea who Maeve Binchy was, she was an Irish writer whose work includes the novel Circle of Friends, Tara Road, The Scarlett Feather, Quentins and Minding Frankie, to name a few. She was a masterful story teller who effortless transported her readers from the pages into the lives of her characters as their stories are woven.
Maeve Binchy was not only a novelist, but wrote for the Irish Times as well. In Maeve’s Times, her husband, Gordon Snell, has put together a selection of her writing for the Times and has given us readers who would not have been privy to these articles before; greater insight into the person and writer that Maeve Binchy was. Gordon Snell, in his introduction writes, “… she had a unique eye and ear for the quirks, intensities and absurdities of human behaviour. “ Anyone who has read any of her novels would agree that this is true, without hesitation.
Without giving too much away (because I think you will really enjoy reading the book) it includes articles from the sixties to the 2000s and are about a variety of topics all written with the flair that only Maeve Binchy possessed. She spins tales of a school trip (she used to be a teacher before she became a writer), a man who thought mistakenly that the women’s powder room was the place he was to meet a friend, having television cameras in her home, royal weddings, her seriousness about writing which almost resulted in a sex book. Her writing was influenced by her travels and there are stories resulting from situations she witnessed or was a part of during these travels. My favourite story; however, has nothing to do with travel but is about lunch. She takes a man (this is in the 80s mind you) to lunch and from the time she enters the restaurant, the waiter defers to this gentleman who has been taken to lunch, and he goes as far as to hand him the bill even though it had been made clear Ms. Binchy was paying. Some days I feel like we have come such a far way from that kind of thinking, but on others I feel we are still stuck there (but that is for another blog post). Through her books I found a warm, fun loving aunt, a kindred spirit, a mentor and through the snapshots of her life found in this book, I have come to know her a better.
Maeve’s Times can be purchased here.