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This Year It Will Be Different
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This Year It Will Be Different

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,259 Ratings  ·  282 Reviews
Filled with Maeve Binchy's trademark wit and true storytelling genius, 'This Year It Will Be Different' powerfully evokes the lives of wives, husbands, children, friends and lovers, all set during the one holiday when feelings cannot easily be hidden.
Paperback, 261 pages
Published September 4th 2008 by Orion (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 20, 2016 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
I honestly just love Maeve. I know I will love all of her books as I lift them off my shelf. This book of short stories suited me perfectly, as I have little reading time at the moment. These factors are very important to my reading experience this year. I could read a whole story in the bath, before bed, or not feel too guilty if I should’ve been studying as they were little.

They all did remind me of times gone by, ‘real’ life problems like divorce, kids splitting their time between mum and da
1996 Nov 1
2004 Dec 14

Big soft-spot in my heart for short stories about Christmas. Maybe it was all those Good Housekeeping magazines? I don't know. One of my favorite Christmas books. As in real life, people trying to make things better, and mostly much doesn't change, but they made the effort, and that counts, doesn't it? The title story slays me, and makes me stabby, too. Binchy has an underlying thread of feminism that is grounded in the real lives of modern women. It's not so much an ideal
Morticia Adams
Aug 08, 2011 Morticia Adams rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the current choice of my local reading group. Short stories all with a Christmas theme, I suspect a lot of them will be quite sentimental. Not really my sort of book at all - but I'm giving it a bash. Read two of the stories so far - one flat and unengaging, one quite amusing.

Update 8 August: I'm not going to waste any more time on this book, either reading it, or writing about it. So I'm going to be lazy and just copy and paste what I said about it on my blog yesterday.

Good and bad sho
Dec 02, 2012 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: up-to-2012
Maeve Binchy’s short story anthology, “This Year It Will Be Different”, is fantastic from the first sentence! A mystery fan who seldom reads general fiction, I was blown away by how immediately her other compilations sucked me in: “The Lilac Bus”, 1982 and “Dublin 4”, 1984. It’s clear why this lovely lady is Ireland’s pride and famous the world over. Her passing this 2012 is too soon, my solace being I’ve only begun to experience her work. It remains, for all to enjoy.

I’m amazed to find I’m even
Dec 29, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Barb
What a great collection of stories. I have never read any other Maeve Binchy books, but this one was recommended to me because, well, Christmas has not always been my fav. The stories are all around the idea that the build up does not equal the end result and that sometimes the holidays are just yucky. Some characters have experiences that are better than their usual, just not the picture perfect ideal. I thought they were well written with great characters and interesting situations. It wasn't ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Maeve Binchy stories are often sniffed at by literary snobs, but they remind me of a cup of tea on a cold day; one of life's small pleasures. This particular book is a collection of short Christmas stories, some of them entertaining, like the story of a boy who breaks his granny's glasses and feeds his dog his grandpa's hearing aid in order to prevent them from complaining. Some are a bit bleak with the normal Binchy inclusion of wandering husbands and unappreciated wives, but all end with a nic ...more
I only read 6 of the 15 stories in this book. They were all about sad families, not really very cozy Christmasy and just not enjoyable in any way. The writing itself was seriously lacking.
Ceren Ünlü
Romanlarını daha çok beğeniyorum. Kısa kısa hikayeler bana diğer kitaplarını arattı .
Dec 03, 2014 Gwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I so enjoy Benchy's writings. These stories were, I guess you could say, like it really is. Most of the holiday hoopla is the fantasy in our minds and in reality sometimes painful for families and those that are alone. Each story was interesting and they did not have predictable endings, good reads. I guess I just "liked" it because it didn't continue the idea that everything is lovely for everyone, but then at my age there is more than one reason for that. At any rate, HAPPY HOLIDAYS and if we ...more
Another short and sweet holiday read. This one is a collection of Christmas-themed short stories. I've read another book of short stories by Maeve Binchy--The Return Journey--and I'm interested in picking up one of her novels one day. I like her writing style.

This collection is not your typical set of heartwarming Christmas stories, just as the description on the book's jacket flap says. Some of the stories are heartwarming, some are sad, and a few are simply quirky. However, I found that I like
Minty McBunny
I think I've read this before but I didn't remember much of it and I was in the mood for Binchy so I checked it out again.

It is pretty standard fare for this author, some of the stories were better than others and a lot of them lacked the very Irish feel that I love about most of her work. But it was engaging enough for a quick read.
Dec 30, 2014 Em rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Binchy’s stories always seem able to transport me to another place and time. These Christmas stories are mostly bittersweet – even the one that looks like it will be romantic – ‘The Christmas Baramundi’ couldn’t really muster a happy ending. I particularly enjoyed the quirky ‘The Hard Core’ about the group of difficult patients of the old folks home who club together to save their facility. The most hopeful of the collection ‘A Typical Irish Christmas’ was about a widower who wants to escape fro ...more
Aug 02, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m such a sucker for Binchy’s books. I tend to like her novels more than her short story collections, but this one was perfect for December. There are 15 stories, all with some Christmas theme. That being said, they aren’t sweet cheerful stories, that’s not really her style. There’s the tension of a blended family, a broken heart, a newly married son, an unexpected trip to New York, and so much more. Each one gives us a quick glimpse into the lives of someone new.

The way the Binchy writes is j
This author knows what makes people tick --- especially during the holidays. This collection of short stories is a character study in how people react and respond to Christmas - and if and how each finds redemption in his/her own situation. Don't be surprised if this author throws in a few curve balls -she certainly gives her readers many reasons to pause...
Dec 19, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago and remembering being somewhat dissatisfied with it... However, rereading it this year was a pleasure! Not sure if I've just become more cynical as I age, but I loved how realistic the stories were - not your typical "Christmas miracles" read! I appreciated that. And I always love a good dose of Maeve Binchy!
Aug 10, 2015 Cherry-Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, Maeve Binchy delivers. An anthology of Christmas stories depicting "real" people in a "real, messy" world. Mean old people in a geriatric home who need a wake up call, married men with single girls, imperfect dysfunctional families pretending...always pretending, especially on this special day. Good read.
Although I love Maeve Binchy's books, if you're looking for a book of cheerful Christmas stories to put you in a festive holiday mood, this isn't it.
May 10, 2010 Sue rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories which are all on the theme of Christmas. I sometimes find Maeve Binchy's short stories a bit abrupt, wondering why they ended so suddenly with little resolution. There were one or two like that in this book; but the majority were delightful, well-rounded and satisfying.

Binchy has a gift for characterisation and for creating realistic scenarios; this book was warm and inviting. I read just one short story per night for a couple of weeks, and
I have neither the time nor the inclination to write an eloquent review. Christmas prep will do that! My bookclub voted to read a collection of seasonal short stories during the month of December, which is just the genre I prefer at this time of year.

This collection was my introduction to Maeve Bunchy. I quite liked her writing style. While most of the stories were not the feel-good-Spirit-of-Christmas type that I crave at this time of year, there were a few that touched me in the right place.
Feb 09, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will admit I am a huge fan of Maeve Binchy and expected this book to be a great read before I opened it. It did not disappoint. Wonderful collection of short stories set during, or near, Christmas holidays. Binchy doesn't pull punches, or use sugar coating just because it's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Realistic stories with true emotional tugs, lessons to be learned or mistakes repeated, true Binchy. I'm thankful for the legacy she left in books.
Jan 07, 2016 Toni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too many stories about infidelity for my liking . For example 2 wives: Judith from " Affair before Christmas" and Helen from "A Hundred Milligrams" , one thinks wife has to keep head and say nothing and hope that her husbands lover will find another man, and another trembles in fear of losing her wonderful kind husband ( who happens to be cheater and liar too), its sad and depressing to see women being reduced to that level. I found it very difficult to relate to characters, many of them I didn ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Phillip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I chose this book for a recent trip, knowing full well it was a collection of short stories, but as I opened it at the airport and saw the table of contents, my heart sank. For some reason I didn’t feel up to the task of having to initiate the reading process so many times during my trip. I need not have worried. As the enticing prose pulled me in to each new narrative, I grew increasingly eager to invest myself into the new set of characters. Even the one story that showed the least promise in ...more
Nov 17, 2010 Tracey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmmm. I didn't realise that it was a book of short stories, i saw A new book i'd not read before and bought it without reading the back.

I much prefer to have a good long read and i just got into a story and it was finished.
Its a good book to read in the bath though, 2 chapters and you know your wrinkly haha.
The stories were good, all different people and how they spend Christmas... blimey, even what could have been me was in there!
Boots S
From the New York Times bestselling author of Circle of Friends, The Glass Lake, and Evening Class comes a stunning collection of fifteen Christmas stories filled with Maeve Binchy's trademark wit, charm, and sheer storytelling genius. In "A Typical Irish Christmas," a grieving widower heads for a holiday in Ireland and finds an unexpected destination not just for himself, but for a father and daughter in crisis. . . . In "Pulling Together," a teacher not yet out of her twenties sees her affair ...more
Rachael Hewison
Ok so my first error was probably reading this book in July- not an easy time to get into the Christmas spirit. However it was too many Christmas stories rolled in to one. By the end I was hoping Christmas would be cancelled, just so I wouldn't have to read another of these stories.
The characters felt like they blurred into one; I lost count of the amount of people that had suffered some infidelity. They all followed a similar structure- there was some family issue and then it was resolved and a
Selina Griffin
Dec 23, 2014 Selina Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this in a charity shop on audiocd. I usually try and get a few Kindle Christmas stories o read during December - with the change in my commute, I have less time to read and more time in a car - so an audiocd of Christmas stories seemed like the perfect choice!

I am a bit of a sucker for Christmas stories anyway; but I really enjoyed this collection on 5 cds. My only criticism would be that some of the stories were too short; as in they finished at a point when I would really have liked to
Dec 01, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such real issues and emotions of the holidays! Nicely done.
Jul 13, 2016 Mekerei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is the first bool I've read by Maeve Binchy. When I picked it up I didn't realise that is was short stories (I was running out the door and decided that I needed a physical book as well as my kindle).

These stories are about Christmas; the ups and downs of Christmas. I enjoyed all of these stories, the nursing home, the mixed up groceries, the teenager who got Polaroid for christmas are a few that tickled my fancy.

These stories were written with humour and comparison. They are stories of how
Tracy Terry
Criticised because the vast majority of the stories have been published in other editions (namely The Return Journey And Other Stories) as I'm not a fan of the authors I was lucky in that the stories were new to me.

A collection of some twenty two holiday reads ranging from the so-so to the disappointing. If I had to sum the book up as a whole in one sentence I'd describe it as lacklustre, overly reliant on tales of infidelity and with few redeemable characters.

Refreshing? Realistic? Perhaps, af
Angeline Anger
Jan 05, 2011 Angeline Anger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For a collection of Christmas stories, they were uninspiring, somber, almost depressing and...well, boring. I wouldn't recommend this one...
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Hamburg Book Club: Tuesday's Meeting 1 17 Dec 16, 2012 05:12PM  
Book Club Discussion Question 2 16 Dec 11, 2012 09:36AM  
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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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