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The Return Journey

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,217 Ratings  ·  331 Reviews
In this collection of stories, Maeve Binchy brings us sons and lovers, daughters and strangers, husbands and wives in their infinite variety - powerfully compelling stories of love, loss, revelation, and reconciliation. A secretary's silent passion for her boss meets the acid test on a business trip... A man and a woman's mutual disdain at first sight shows how deceptive a ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 9th 1998 by Delacorte Pr (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 22, 2012 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Normally I LOVE Maeve Binchy. I love the style she has of intertwining characters and stories, showing that the world is really a small place. I love her warm, friendly characters who all seem so real it makes you want to know them, to be friends with him, to be included in their circle. But this one was a disappointment. There was no intertwining of stories, no characters who at first seem random, but somehow become connected in some way later on. It is several small sections, each with its own ...more
Alison C
The Return Journey is a collection of short stories by Maeve Binchy, stories published between 1994 and 2004 as far as I can tell. Keeping the title in mind, they are all tales about travel - people going somewhere, people returning from somewhere, people in the middle of their journey, people just trying to get started. A couple that moved me the most include "The Crossing," in which two women, strangers, chat companionably while on the ferry crossing from Ireland to Liverpool; they tell each o ...more
Sep 01, 2015 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I say that "The Return Journey" is typical Maeve Binchy and you don't know who Maeve Binchy is, you might decide not to read this remarkable treasury of short stories. But if you have ever experienced the wonder of Binchy's writing, you'll run right out and pick it up.

The fourteen stories which comprise this volume are quite different from one another in tone and theme. But they all have certain things in common. All deal in one way or another with travel. All show the profound understanding
Preethi Venugopala
An absolutely delicious collection of short stories from Maeve Binchy.
I have read a number of Maeve Binchy stories, both novels and short stories in collections. This was the first collection I had read of just her work. At first I was confused not realizing that these were not one cohesive story. I like seeing how characters develop over a longer period, not that some of these stories didn’t traverse months or more. The Return Journey walked the reader through the lives of many people sometimes their interaction was indirect and accidental, sometimes it involves ...more
Stephanie Holcomb
Maeve Binchy can infuriate me sometimes. It's like she has a contract for 3 books, and the first is well thought out with an interesting story and characters you can relate to and sympathize with, unique in all aspects and with some twists and turns you don't expect. But maybe that first book takes a lot of time to write, so she contractually has to write 2 more, and they are hurriedly written with no core, characters and stories that are boring and really normal and nothing exciting, so when yo ...more
Yvonne Mendez
Jul 07, 2011 Yvonne Mendez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors and continues to be. Normally her stories include many unique characters who are interrelated to each other. In this case, each chapter is an unique story, all of the stories have to do with vacations and in them you feel like you're getting a quick peek at people's lives. This book reminds me a lot of real life, you may meet someone and get to know their present and past, but you might never know what happened next and you move on. This is a light read ...more
Valerie Penny
Several people had told me that Maeve Binchy was an excellent writer and told great stories with believable characters. So I was thrilled when her book of short stories The Return Journey and other Stories came up as the book to read on my book group. I had previously read one novel by Maeve Binchy, Full House, which is reviewed here: Although I did not enjoy that book very much, I was willing to give Maeve Binchy another try. She is a much respected wri ...more
Noura Al-jabeli
Jul 24, 2014 Noura Al-jabeli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's books like these that make me remind myself to never pick a book in a hurry no matter how reputable the bookstore seems or how interesting the summary is.
I literally had a headache reading the back and forth letters between whiny whatshername and her characterless mother and the summary style of this book made me feel like the author just wanted to finish writing this book in a couple of hours.
Sep 10, 2014 TwoDrinks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I've never read a Maeve Binchy before and plucked this one off the shelf in the downstairs loo of the holiday home I'm staying in. Bloody Nora, I really enjoyed it and I keep reading short stories and thinking, 'why don't I read more short story collections because I love them?'. I also think, 'ooh, I should have a go at writing some of these'.

One of the stories in it, which I won't spoil, was about a woman who was having an utter crisis in her life and a stranger suggested she write to him one
May 01, 2015 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed several other MBs before this and to be honest not a huge fan of very short stories like these because they are just getting interesting and they end, which is also the case here - a couple of these could have been longer. I chose it because it was on the bookshelf in our holiday cottage and with entertaining young children, short stories seemed ideal. Some I really liked others less so. My favourite being the twist in the airport story (sorry can't recall the title) where 3 compl ...more
Nov 14, 2015 Carla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2015
I'm behind with my 2015 books challenge (as I read some Dutch books that I can't list here and I'm working my way through some heavy books), so when I saw this book, I knew I could make up easily. If you like Maeve Binchy, you'll like these short stories too. They are typical for her style, her way of describing small things in people's life. I probably like the story that give the book its title the least. And I think I liked September Letters most. Hard to pick. Nice book about relationships, ...more
Feb 27, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my introduction to Ms. Binchy. Too bad she passed a year and a half ago. This is a collection of short stories. I saw immediately that she was my kind of clever. The stories spoke to me. When I thought they would go this way, they ended up finishing another. I do believe she was brilliant. She was more that six feet and didn't marry until after 40. She also didn't start writing until past 40 though I've read nothing that infers one was connected to the other. Please seek her out. You wi ...more
Not for me.

Like I imagine happens with other folks with too many books, random ones wind up on my (physical) bookshelves and I have no idea how they got there. This is one such book.

Trite storytelling that seemed devoid of any actual feeling. And I don't make a habit of reading shallow (unless I purposely picked it going in). Two and half stories in, gave up.. and thus saved myself time AND the author the insult of a long winded 1-star review from annoyance-by-lengthy-association.

Someone may lov
Jyotika Varmani
May 13, 2015 Jyotika Varmani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is comprised of several short stories. It was a very unusual read for me, because of the style of the author's writing. It is very natural, it just flows. There is no attempt to give out a message, or to provide something exceptional. The stories are just about a few living moments, with no detailed sketch of any character's background. A lot of the stories do not provide any resolution either, and that is the best part of it. It's a very good break, after you've been reading a lot of ...more
My mother is a huge Maeve Binchy fan and has read all of her books. Having decided to give her books a try after hearing my mother's glowing reviews, The Return Journey is the one I reached for. I found the writing quaint and charming, and the characters were realistic and relatable.

However, the only real issue I have is the same issue I have with all short story collections--I was left hanging, wondering what happened with the characters. I know lots of people like the ambiguity that comes wit
Nov 17, 2011 Aisha511 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love reading books such as this book, because its actually not a boring book as others. It has different interesting stories. I read a story called The Return Journey and it's about Freda who is from Ireland her father married her mother in Dunglass; it is a village but they had the biggest house there. Her father was a two man; one man sober and another man drunk. Freda’s mother name is Annabel, she was tall and straight and she walked as if she owned Dunglass. Freda was sent to a boarding sc ...more
I actually have never read any of Maeve Binchy's books, though I see them all the time and think about picking one up, I never have. While I often find collections of short stories to be very hit or miss, I thought this would be a good way for me to familiarize myself with Binchy and decide if I wanted to pick up one of her novels. Sheri at A Novel Menagerie was offering free books and was kind enough to send this one to me.
In the end, I can't say I was too impressed, and I guess it goes back to
Barbara Mitchell
In all my hundreds of years of reading everything in sight, I had never read a Maeve Binchy. I know it's unbelievable but there you are. I had her in my mind, just never took the time.

Last week I was looking for a short read to fit in between books for promised reviews. My box of books from friends yielded The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy, a short paperback perfect for the amount of time I had. It turned out to be a little book of short stories, all related to travel in some way.

Short stories
I picked this up at the library last week because it looked like a quick, easy read; in that I was not disappointed. The writing is good and each character lends something interesting to the stories.
However, a lot of the writing is abstract, so I never really felt deeply drawn into the characters' lives. It was like a collection of character sketches, actually. I was interested enough to finish but will likely not buy the book. This is my first sample of Maeve Binchy's work, and I will say that
Sono racconti delicati di un'umanità che vive cercando di non farsi travolgere dagli eventi, sforzandosi di tenere assieme desideri e responsabilità. Una lettura non impegnativa, ma sicuramente gradevole e non scontata.
Il titolo originale è “Victoria Line, Central Line”, due linee della metropolitana londinese dalle cui fermate prendono vita i racconti, la traduzione in italiano "In viaggio verso casa" banalizza la struttura a incrocio del libro.

Stelline "racconto per racconto"

1.Tottenham Hale:
Apr 03, 2014 Jeanne rated it liked it
Was looking for an easy to read book. One that wouldn't tax my brain too much and this one called to me. It was a book of very, very short stories. I usually don't care too much for this kind of book, however, it was just the thing at this time. Most were very good and only involved a few characters, so my brain didn't have to work to keep track of everyone. They each could have been drawn out to make a complete book but instead they were short and too the point. All in all a good little read.
Hilary Tesh
Aug 27, 2014 Hilary Tesh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was not Maeve Binchy anywhere near her excellent best, unfortunately, and the result was a rather mediocre collection of short stories, hanging loosely round a theme of journeys and the changes they may bring. Most of the characters were flat and many of the stories seemed pointless, the exception being 'Miss Vogel's Vacation" which showed more of the author's talent. I only finished the book because I read a few stories at a time, in between full length books (in those moments when you can ...more
Mary Anne
Maeve Binchy has long been one of my favorite authors. Collections of short stories are not my favorite genre. So I started reading this knowing that the short story format would probably not pull me in but hoping that the writing would keep me interested. Some of the stories were interesting, but mostly they were predictable and left me hanging. It was an okay read if you are looking for short bits to pick up and read and put down again without getting too involved.
Mar 21, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable series of short stories dealing with the subtle humanness and often startling clarity to be found in relationships both familial and superficial. This was my first time reading Maeve Binchey, although I have seen the movie "Circle of Friends" adapted from one of her novels and starring Minnie Driver. Binchey has a remarkable way off cutting straight to the essence of understanding and the revelation of those hidden truths that reside between us all.
Sep 04, 2009 Jenna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If it was a possibility to have no stars I would choose that for this book. This is shocking for me because I am an easy read. I am not a critic of books and I am a fan of Maeve.

This book starts with a prologue that is a series of letters from a Mother to her Daughter and back. I was intrigued and excited to find out more about this relationship in the rest of the book. Um, NO! I was also antsy to hear about the rest of the characters in the book. The biggest problem I had was every chapter is a
Bruce Reiter
Apr 19, 2015 Bruce Reiter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am reading Irish authors to prepare for an upcoming literary holiday in Ireland. This is the first series of short stories by Maeve Binchy that I have read. She is an excellent author with an easy to read but thoughtful presentation of characters. The Irish women's perspectives and dilemmas are presented capably with empathy. The author gives a modern flavor to Ireland and boldly attempts to describe the Irish psyche within relationships.
Jul 29, 2014 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I realized part way through this book that I had read it before. It is a collection of short stories, well written and somewhat interesting. Not your usual in depth description of each eclectic character that Maeve does in her novels, but nonetheless you get a good feel for the character. Some characters are annoying and most have rather sad, boring lives. Not my favorite Binchy book but my love for her books remains loyal!
May 17, 2016 Ivy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while I think, "I deserve a Maeve Binchy," then look to see if there is anything I have not yet read on the shelf. A short story lover, this collection was a treat. All the characters are traveling. Building relationships. Discovering themselves. There are the super-efficient and the bumbling selfish. Snapshots to read on a short break. All a sweet treat.
This book was entirely short stories and all involved travel of some sort. Most of the characters seemed happier on the surface than the actually were. With the exception of the first story, they felt little pretty complete stories despite their length. I'd have liked the first story to be longer because I honestly had no idea what happened at the end.
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Review Return Journey. 1 1 Jul 13, 2016 04:39AM  
  • The Carousel
  • Starting Over
  • Finbar's Hotel
  • Happy Ever After
  • The Tea House on Mulberry Street
  • Homecoming
  • The Chisellers
  • An Irish Country Wedding (Irish Country #7)
  • Up Island
  • The Zookeeper's War
  • A Summer in the Country

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Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of four. Her parents were very positive and provided her with a happy childhood. Although she described herself as an overweight child, her parents' attitude gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she was.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved travelin
More about Maeve Binchy...

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