Maeve Binchy is back with a tale of joy, heartbreak and hope, about a motherless girl collectively raised by a close-knit Dublin community.
When Noel learns that his terminally ill former flame is pregnant with his child, he agrees to take guardianship of the baby girl once she's born. But as a single father battling demons of his own, Noel can't do it alone.
Fortunately, he has a competent, caring network of friends, family and neighbors: Lisa, his unlucky-in-love classmate, who moves in with him to help him care for little Frankie around the clock; his American cousin, Emily, always there with a pep talk; the newly retired Dr. Hat, with more time on his hands than he knows what to do with; Dr. Declan and Fiona and their baby son, Frankie's first friend; and many eager babysitters, including old friends Signora and Aidan and Frankie's doting grandparents, Josie and Charles.
But not everyone is pleased with the unconventional arrangement, especially a nosy social worker, Moira, who is convinced that Frankie would be better off in a foster home. Now it's up to Noel to persuade her that everyone in town has something special to offer when it comes to minding Frankie.
©2011 Maeve Binchy (P)2011 Random House
“Binchy is a national treasure in her homeland of Ireland, and her latest novel is a perfect illustration of why.…Your heart will have no trouble recognizing the landscape [of this] touching saga.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Reading a Maeve Binchy novel is like settling in for a cozy visit with an old friend. In vintage Binchy style, a cast of colorfully eccentric characters living in a snug Dublin neighborhood seamlessly weave in and out of each other’s lives, united by family, faith, friendship and community....Readers will need a box of tissues handy as the good-hearted residents of St. Jarlath’s Crescent prove that it does indeed take a ‘village to raise a child.’” (Margaret Flanagan, Booklist)
If you are a fan, this is yet another fine example of her craft. At all times Maeve is optimistic. I listen because I know there will be the best ending there can be. She does not shrink from the hard fact of modern life but if there is a positive spin, it will be there. Thank you Maeve for continuing the stories of an Ireland we wish we could visit and people we would love to meet.
At the beginning I was restless, waiting for the author to get to the meat of the story. She goes to great lengths to describe the backgrounds of each character. But then I decided to relax and let the book unfold as it was written...then, I began to love it. When I wasn't listening, I would feel like I was missing something like my keys, glasses, something important...but no, I was missing my friends from Chestnut Court and Dublin, Ireland. This to me is the sign of a great book. It had pulled me so far into the lives of these characters, I did not see myself as separate from them.
The narrator is excellent. The Irish accent makes things that much better.
If you love stories about tragedies bringing people together, mixed with humor and small town charm, where everyone seems to know eachother....this book is for you!
Loved this book, the characters are still dancing around in my mind. Read "Scarlet Feather" first if you can because some of the characters pop up again in this book a little older and wiser
Minding Frankie is a wonderful read, filled with Maeve Binchy's signature characters - there is no way not to love them.
I am a longtime Maeve Binchy fan, but I couldn't finish listening to this. The narrator was utterly distracting. Even while reading passages of dialogue from characters expressing clear delight, she sounded depressed. When she gave the young Australian man an upspeak, I turned it off for good. (Why did she do that? Does she consider that to be an integral part of the Aussie accent? I couldn't tell if it was an attempt at character development or just a jab at Australians.)
The book itself was classic Binchy, with solid character development that leaves you constantly wondering what the characters are up to when you're not with them, and loads of characters from other books, a treat for those of us familiar with her work and hungry for an update from old friends. Although it's become a bit formulaic, I will continue to be a fan of her books - in print.
I was annoyed by the narrator.. She had a horrible lisp and I found it so annoying. If I hadn't paid for the book and liked Binchey so much I wouldn't have finished it. I didn't love the characters the way I did in some of her other books. Maybe I am just getting bored with this author. She had been one of my favorites but this book is not. I would recommend trying some of her others rather than this one.
Speech therapy! Seriously, I hated this narrator. Binche's daughter I believe narrated some of her other books and she was far superior.
I love the books by Maeve Binchy and look forward to her new selections. I liked the way the characters in this story all were able to act in the best interest of each other. It was uplifting to read and is a goal we can all apply to our relationships in life. The importance of support of community and the trust of others is a central theme that makes "listening" an enjoyable experience.
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