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This Year It Will Be Different

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  3,504 ratings  ·  210 reviews
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Circle of Friends" and "The Glass Lake" comes "This Year It Will Be Different," a stunning new work that brings us the magic and spirit of Christmas in fifteen stories filled with Maeve Binchy's trademark wit, charm, and sheer storytelling genius. Instead of nostalgia, Binchy evokes contemporary life; instead of Christmas ho ...more
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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Morticia Adams
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
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Lori
Dec 29, 2009 Lori rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
C.
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
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Rebecca
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
Melissa
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
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Catherine
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.
Tracey
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!
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
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Marcea
Binchy’s stories always seem able to transport me to another place and time. These Christmas stories ore 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
Angeline Anger
For a collection of Christmas stories, they were uninspiring, somber, almost depressing and...well, boring. I wouldn't recommend this one...
Keeley
She is a good author. I like that the stories are set in England and Ireland. I liked this touching story.
Maria
Only at Christmas though!
Sara
Finally finished this feeling no better about it than I did before. The stories are depressing with very few redeemable characters. The only reason that I am giving this 2 stars is that, although I didn't like the stories, they are well written.

I'm about half way through this collection of short stories and I have to say that I am glad that I am not reading it during the holidays. Honestly, this is depressing. So far every story has been about infidelity, divorce, and/or step parenting. So far,
...more
Alleluialu
This book was a collection of great stories about Christmas celebrations. Many of them involved men, women or families from Ireland, Britain or Australia. There were stories for everyone from all walks of life and in all sorts of situations. My favorite was the one about the Irish schoolteacher who was supposed to get married but her fiance left her. Many years later, her students kept asking her what she was doing for Christmas and finally she told them she was going to America -- to New York C ...more
Catherine
I could see any of these short stories in a womag Christmas special, and suspect that many of them were, since they encompass the years of the boom and bust of the Celtic tiger economy. They are all pretty, heart-warming and ultimately inconsequential stories of one or two thousand words which, taken in a sitting, ended up being sickly - just like the huge tin of Roses our family always managed to almost devour on Christmas day. However, unlike Heart and Soul or Whitethorn Woods, at least there ...more
Mo
2 ½ stars

I don’t suppose it’s really fair of me to rate this book, because I don’t generally like most short stories. But then, who ever said life was fair? description

The writing was not the problem for me... I just couldn’t stand the lack of character development. I love Maeve Binchy, and usually her characters are so well fleshed out and so very relatable. I thought that any one of these stories would have been better served had it been expanded into a complete novel. I would just start to get interest
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E.M. Tippetts
There were a few stories here I genuinely loved, but I began to lose interest the third or fourth time I read about an extramarital relationship in which the cuckolded wife forgave her husband and held onto him lovingly and patiently. One story with that element, fine. Situations like that do happen, but this many? Sorry, gotta cry misogyny here. Men cheating was a theme in about 3/4 of the stories, and one is written from the son's point of view. He doesn't much care that his dad had an affair ...more
Lynn Matheson
I bought this for pennies in a church book sale. Maeve Binchy seems to be a bestselling author so I thought I would see what she is about. The book is a group of short stories on the theme of Christmas. I was expecting heart warming and fuzzy but this is not what they were. The stories were sharply observed, dealing with the hypocrisies of middle class families in the festive season. There were straying banker husbands, lonely schoolteachers, ungrateful children and snooty grandmothers. The stor ...more
Kathy
I liked reading these short stories that revolved around the Christmas season. I read one or two each night before I went to sleep. By the time I finished number fifteen I couldn't remember what number 1 was about but I had the overwhelming feeling that too many of them were about how to survive the holidays with your family when you were in an adulterous situation. I went back and reread the first story. No adultery, just divorce and blended family. Just humans being human... maybe things will ...more
Kris
3 STARS

"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 with a married man at a turning point as Christmas Eve approaches. . . . And in the title story, "This Year It Will Be Different," a woman with a complacent husband and grown children enters a season that will forever alter her
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Jina Howell-Forbes
This book is a collection of 15 short stories about Christmas. I love Christmas, I love anything Irish, and I like the way Maeve Binchy writes about people and life. So basically, with all three of these elements, it was a worthwhile book. My problem with it was that as hard as I try, I can't learn to like the short story format. I know that many people who consider themselves to have an educated literary palate pride themselves on being able to find great meaning in the short format that doesn' ...more
Lisa Dyer
A collection of short stories evolving around the theme of making changes in our lives during the Christmas Period.

Everyone has high expectations during Christmas time, of perfect celebrations with delicious food and everyone getting along happily,even when they may not during the remainder of the year. The characters in these stories, all make positive changes or life changing realisations about their lives and the people in it.

Maeve Binchy's writing drew me into the stories. I knew the charact
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Jennifer
I grab this one from the library on the way to the pool one day. I love Maeve Binchy, it was a short book, and I knew I would like it, even though it was a Christmas book in the middle of August!

I really did like this book. The 3 stars is more because it wasn't a feel good book, and that's what I wanted. It is a bunch of short stories and most of them really didn't have a super happy ending, but a realistic ending.

I love how Maeve Binchy can put me into some one's life and I feel like I'm right
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Author Annette Dunlea
This Year Will be Different By Maeve Binchy (Book Review)
This Year Will be Different is a collection of 15 short stories by Maeve Binchy. It was previously published abroad as The Return Journey. The paperback’s ISBN is 9780752876283 and it is published by Orion in Ireland and the UK. Its theme is Christmas with a twist and it discusses feelings that cannot be hidden. In a warm and sympathic way Maeve introduces power struggles, affairs and unwelcome discoveries. Everything from cranky grandpar
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Kaethe
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
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Dee-Ann
This is a book of short stories with the central theme of Christmas, primarily located in the UK, but there are some in Australia and the US as well, however the characters in these stories have a UK link. Some of the stories were good, whilst on the whole I would say that most were just okay ... not to Maeve's usual standard. However, I find this is a similar phenomena for many stories with a Christmas theme. It seems as though the authors natural talent is watered down and/or restricted by Xma ...more
Julie
Quick easy read - mixture of short stories - some good - some too short and in need of another chapter or 2 - some rather pointless. This is the first Maeve Binchy book I have read and not overly impressed but hear her novels are better??? They need to be!!
Julie
Didn't expect it to be a load of short stories. I expected them to tie in until it came to the point that I realised there was not way so many different stories could come together. I was left feeling a little unsatisfied. I found it a bit pointless. It covered a multitude of generally 'bad' christmases with topics such as affairs (as far as I can remember always the husband doing the dirty), lonely people having lost the love of their lives, disfunctional families, depressing inlaws etc, etc). ...more
Lola
Most good short stories, although short stories are not my first choice. I took this book off the shelf 'cuz I was in the mood for some Binchy & I've read all her books except her new one (title has the word "winter" in it) which isn't available @ my library yet.
I liked the story called "Civilized Christmas"--a wife with a stepson feels taken advantage of; after a conversation with her husband they both thought the other was doing what they wanted & were happy; they learned that what the
...more
Lisa
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Hamburg Book Club: Tuesday's Meeting 1 17 Dec 16, 2012 05:12PM  
Book Club Discussion Question 2 14 Dec 11, 2012 09:36AM  
  • A Midnight Clear: Family Christmas Stories
  • A Rumpole Christmas: Stories
  • Happy Ever After
  • The Trouble with Harriet (Ellie Haskell Mystery, #9)
  • The Silence
  • Best of Friends
  • What If God Were the Sun?
  • The Treehorn Trilogy: The Shrinking of Treehorn, Treehorn's Treasure, and Treehorn's Wish
  • The Secret Life Of Evie Hamilton
  • Murder for Christmas
  • Santa, Baby (Dressed to Thrill, #4)
  • The Children's Hour
  • The Parson's Daughter
  • The Tea House on Mulberry Street
  • Santa and Pete: A Novel of Christmas Present and Past
  • Christmas in Whitehorn (Montana Mavericks)
  • I'll Take It
  • Flowers in the Rain and Other Stories
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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. Despite the fact she describes herself as an overweight child it was her parents attitude that gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she is today.

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