The Mountainview School in working-class Dublin boasts a brightly festooned room brimming with paper flowers and Renaissance posters. There, in an evening class, "An Introduction to Italian," come Aiden Dunne, the supervisor, Signora, the professoressa, and 30 or so students, whose hopes and dreams are bound up in the Tuesday and Thursday lessons.
Aiden Dunne has been passed over for headmaster of the school, and his family is falling apart. He desperately needs the evening class to be a success to restore his self-respect. Nora O'Donoghue, "Signora," followed the man she loved to Italy and waited 23 years for him, never faltering in her love. Signora, needy in a different way, will be the teacher, and together she and Aiden will conduct the class.
The students couldn't be more different. There is Bill Burke, a young bank clerk who goes to the classes hoping he might be considered for a job in international banking and that his spendthrift girlfriend, who has agreed to go to class with him, will have fewer opportunities to waste their money. Kathy Clark works too hard at school. She joins the Italian class for relaxation. There is Lou, whose wife Suzy Sullivan, has no idea why her husband is studying Italian; Laddy, the hotel porter, who's thought of by family and friends as slow and dim; and Connie, the society hostess who has an oddly empty calendar. For all of the students the thought of a trip to Italy when the course has been completed involves a different kind of drama. And by the time they are ready to set out on the journey, each one's life has changed utterly.
©1997 Maeve Binchy; (P)1997 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.
This was my first Binchy book, read in paperback, and loved just as much in audible. The lives of everyone touched by an evening adult ed class in Italian language and culture, from the students to the instructress to the school principal, are gently intertwined to make a story you won't want to end. I'll listen to this one again. After enjoying many more of her books, it's still my favorite Maeve Binchy book!
The abridgment deprived the story of its richness. The pleasure of this author is the chance to spend time with and really get to know the characters. It's just this pleasure that the editors cut away. A book like this deserves better.
I have read quite a few of Ms Binchey's books and they all remind me of sitting comfortably by the fire with a warm blanket and a hot drink, cozy and comfy. This was a very enjoyable read/listen. I liked the diverse characters and the way they bonded during the Italian class. She weaves a fine story.
This is my first audible Maeve Binchy and I was not disappointed. This is a book that makes you want to curl up in front of the fire place with your favorite hot drink and just relax. Wonderful. I'll be getting more of Maeve's books.
While The Scarlet Feather is my favorite (so far) , The Evening Class is a close second.
I can always find acommon ground with these stories.
I think Senora was my favorite character, she is so easy and calm.
I wouldn't remane this novel Evening Class is perfect.
"A classic is a book that never finishes saying what it has to say." Italo Calvino
I love this novel. i love it like daffodils that return magically each spring. I love it like a best friend who stands by you through the years. I love it like the first day of health after an extended illness. I love it so much I wish all to share in its exquisite joy.
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