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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Circle of Friends and The Glass Lake comes a stunning new collection of 15 Christmas stories with all the magic and spirit of Christmas, and filled with Maeve Binchy's trademark wit, charm, and sheer storytelling genius. In all 15 stories, instead of nostalgia, Binchy evokes contemporary life; instead of Christmas homilies, she offers truth; and instead of sugarplums, she brings the nourishment of holidays that precipitate change, growth, and new beginnings.

The stories in this completely unabridged production powerfully portray many lives - step-families grappling with exes, long-married couples faced with in-law problems, a wandering husband choosing between "the other women" and his wife, a child caught in grown-up tugs-of-war - during the one holiday when feelings cannot be easily hidden. The time of year may be magical, but the situations she describes are universal. And Maeve Binchy's writing, combined with Fionnula Flanagan's storytelling ability, makes us care about each one in this extraordinary collection - on the night before Christmas, or anywhere, any time of the year.

©1996 Maeve Binchy; (P)1996 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Andrea
  • Burlingame, CA, USA
  • 12-03-06

Easy Christmas Entertainment

Each of the short stories have a bit of a lesson to them, and you'll find the same charming kind of characters that appear in so many of Maeve Binchy's books. Not everything is perfectly heartwarming, but that makes it more realistic.

I just wish this one were available with higher audio quality - it's only available in audio formats 1 and 2, and thus a little scratchy-sounding for those of us who use format 4. I burned cds of this to listen to in my car on a long roadtrip and it sounded horrid.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Stories and Narrator Lost in Bad Recording

I absolutely adore the stories and bought this so I could listen while I baked or traveled. Fionnula is a great narrator that brings life to the story but the recording sound/engineering itself is quite horrible. It sounds like it was recorded using tin cans. It is hollow, fuzzy, and muffled. I am very disappointed in the recording.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Quality of Sound

was disappointed in the quality of sound, it was scratchy and noisy which took away from the stories...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tiffany
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 01-03-14

Kind of depressing but insightful

This is also a Christmas book for those of you who may not have noticed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Hettie
  • nacogdoches, TX, United States
  • 02-02-12

VERY POOR QUALITY!!!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Usually, I love Maeve Binchy, especially the lovely, lilting, Irish accents! This one is recorded with terrible sound quality, though. I couldn't even listen to it! I could barely understand it! It might have been a 4 or 5 star experience if it had been a tolerable recording!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Don't waste your money!

Going ask for a refund. The audio is terrible quality and there is no excuse for that these days.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Poor Audio Quality

Any additional comments?

This is the first Audible book I've encountered with inferior audio quality. The narrator's voice is muffled, as though she's recording with a blanket over hear head. "S" sounds are especially sibilant and hissy. When music plays between stories, static can be heard. Voiceovers on top of the music cannot be understood. Really hard to listen to . Glad it's short.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Awful sound quality.

I couldn't hear everything and had I known it was so bad I wouldn't have purchased it. It's a pity because these are wonderful stories and the narrator is equally wonderful, but the sound quality is just terrible.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

POOR RECORDING

What would have made This Year Will Be Different and Other Stories better?

A better recording, the story was garbled, hard to hear and understand. The reader's brogue was too hard to understand. very unenjoyable and quit after 45 minutes of strenuous listening.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure as I LOVE to read Maeve Binchy's books

Would you be willing to try another one of Fionnula Flanagan’s performances?

NO

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • amanda
  • 12-10-13

Do not buy this the sound quality is appalling

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Rerecording the sound quality is truly awful and detracts from the stories which are charming

What will your next listen be?

Pass

How could the performance have been better?

Rerecording

What character would you cut from This Year Will Be Different and Other Stories?

None

Any additional comments?

Good stories spoiled by the sound quality