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The Return Journey Hardcover – 17 Sep 2009
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Spellbinding stories of love, loss, revelation and reconciliation from the No. 1 bestselling author of HEART AND SOUL.
In THE RETURN JOURNEY, Maeve Binchy creates powerful compelling stories of love, loss, revelation, and reconciliation. A secretary's silent passion for her boss meets the acid test on a business trip; a man and a woman's mutual disdain at first sight shows how deceptive appearances can be; an insecure wife clings to the illusion of order, only to discover chaos at the hands of a house-sitter who opens the wrong doors; a pair of star-crossed travellers pick up each other's bags, and then learn when you unlock a stranger's suitcase, you enter a stranger's life. These and many more poignant, ironic, often humorous stories - unforgettable slices of life - make THE RETURN JOURNEY a spellbinding read.See all Product description
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However, to a writer of Binchy's standard there are always great expectations and as much as I enjoyed "The Return Journey", in my opinion it's not one of her best.
The stories in this collection are uneven. In all of them the characters are interesting and the settings certainly pique ones curiosity. But while some are leading to a fulfilling conclusion, others just go nowhere and leave - at least me - feeling somewhat cheated. Not that life is not full of odd incidents with no particular meaning, but in a book of fiction one expects a bit of fairytale, unusual developments, excitement and, hopefully, a happy ending.
The abrupt endings leading into simply nothing, is the only flaw of an otherwise lovely collection of stories. Warm and thoughtful with lots of tiny observations along the road in true Maeve Binchy style.
My favourites are firstly "A Villa for Four", taking place in Greece. So real and alive, it's a true gem, especially for lovers of this country. Then "The September Letters", a story full of surprises which has it all - people from different backgrounds whose paths are crossing, leading to unexpected events and directions in their lives.
Almost 5 stars since what's good is excellent - 4 due to a bit too many vague and/or "missing" completions.
Not being a great advocate of short stories and loving the writing of Maeve i was delighted to find this one but discovered I wanted the story to continue each time. The plot of each tale would have been enough to develop into a book and I was left wanting more. The abrupt endings frustrated me somewhat. Such cleverly thought out stories deserved more detail and more importantly a more drawn out ending.
Maeve's writing has always been a joy, so relaxing, easy to follow but believable characters I still enjoyed the book and had fun writing the rest of the tales in my head and planning on how I would have continued the story An excellent Kindle read.
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