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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

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    247
  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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    13

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    192
  • 4 Stars
    135
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    162
  • 4 Stars
    142
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    7
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • ilene
  • palm desert, CA, United States
  • 09-21-11

Big Fan

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ilene
  • palm desert, CA, United States
  • 09-21-11

Big Fan

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.

  • Overall

Charming and Engaging

Maeve Binchy's gifts are her excellent eye and ear for character. Each of the people in this engaging novel is finely drawn and believable. Binchy makes the reader care about them and their lives. I particularly enjoyed the character of Emily, the American cousin who seems to have a knack for untangling other people's messes. Her ingenious and practical tactics are a pleasure to consider. The action in this story revolves around relationships and feelings. I listened to this book as I was driving, and it made me eager to get back into the car. My few minor quibbles involve a somewhat inaccurate description of a baby's development (she is speaking in two-word sentences before her first birthday) and the lack of foundation for the romance Emily eventually finds, but overall this was a charming book that I enjoyed immensely.

  • Overall
  • Joanne
  • SUMMIT, NJ, United States
  • 06-03-11

I'd mind Frankie.

I love this cast of characters, many old friends, a few new ones- you are pulling for them, wanting to give them a pat on the back in celebration or a hug for comfort for their sorrow. I know who will always be minding Frankie- what a lucky kid. Are we going to get to see her again as she grows up? Narration was great.

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Greenville, SC, United States
  • 04-27-11

Good Binchy

Really good story of an Irish town and its people. Loved the brogue and language. Fan of Maeve Binchy!

  • Overall

great story

this is a great story,typical Maeve Binchy warmth and intrigue. The narrator has a lisp, but you get used to it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Far too many characters!

Would you try another book from Maeve Binchy and/or Sile Bermingham?

I think I'll place Author Binchy at the bottom of my wish list. It was a pinball of characters and subplots. The story line too fragmented with new characters popping up continually. It's hard to keep track of 20+ individuals. Sile Bermingham scores high. I would be pleased to listen to another reading.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • kimberly
  • claremont, CA, United States
  • 07-06-11

contrived

I couldn't get past the first half hour.I could tell in that short time that the story was shaping up to be contrived, with details wrapped up in an obvious way. Wasted my $...

1 of 4 people found this review helpful