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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    90
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    13

Performance

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    33
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    13
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carolyn
  • Friendsville, PA, United States
  • 03-06-11

Top Notch Binchy

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Beautiful Story

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!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Another Hit!

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

LIke going home to a small town

The story wanders a little, but it is another entertaining story from Ms. Binchy. She is a wonderful storyteller!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Minding Frankie

Loved it. Great story of a family who rediscovers itself. Try it. Irish voices add to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Going Home

As usual, Binchy delivers a novel that wraps you up in its arms for a warm, full hug. Creating characters that leap right off the page, Binchy reminds us again that people really aren't all good or all bad. Every one of us is our own unique a blend of both. The piece is performed brilliantly, & I'm sure I'll listen again one of these days when I feel the need to come back home to the sweet embrace of Binchy's quirky, thoughtful, darling Ireland.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Taryn
  • Suffern, NY, United States
  • 04-20-11

It takes a Village

Maeve Binchy writes books that speak about family and relationships, dont expect exciting storylines. Her books show us that no matter where we live and what languages we speak, we share the same hopes,fears and dreams. This book is all about how it "takes a village" to raise a child. So true!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Sorta sweet...kinda awful

A potentially sweet story spoiled by the narrator and too many characters. Since none of the characters were developed past sketchy stereotypes, it was hard to care much what happened to any of them. Nonetheless, I persisted although I almost gave up on the book after a couple of chapters because of the narrator. Her voice was grating, and her various accents dreadful. Too bad, because I enjoyed Tara Road and Scarlett Feather.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

How Life can Be Lived

This book is a bright and balanced view of life depending on individual choices. It’s depiction of what AA is and how it works is excellent. The realities of the struggles in codependent relationships, addiction recovery and what it takes to rise above a difficult upbringing are very well portrayed. A lot to learn here while on a well written rollicking good ride - which Maeve Binchy always provides. The reader is also tops. It’s been great to be back in Ireland.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good story, but some loose ends.

I enjoyed the story very much, but I want to know a few things. I won't say what here because it would give too much away. Still, I found myself getting so angry at characters, and so endeared. I love a book that makes me feel real emotion.