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Silver Wedding

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  6,548 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Desmond and Deirdre Doyle will have been married for twenty-five years in October. It falls to the Doyles' eldest daughter, Anna, to decide how best to commemorate her parents' Silver Wedding. No use asking her sister Helen, living in her London convent, or her brother Brendan, who has chosen another form of exile on a bleak farm in the West of Ireland.





But it is unthinkabl
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Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Arrow (first published 1988)
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Best Books By Maeve Binchy
14th out of 23 books — 108 voters
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Best Irish Books
149th out of 451 books — 332 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kate
Maeve Binchy writes of people whose lives would never touch mine. I can't decide if her writing is old-fashioned or maybe it's the topics she picks to write about. And yet, her characters have problems that I can relate to, some of them from a distance. And I can't stop reading, so eager to know how it all turns out.

In this book, people have been living lives of lies -- don't we all? -- and it all comes to a head when the silver wedding anniversary of a couple with three children is coming up. I
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Sue
Desmond and Deirdre Doyle are approaching their Silver wedding anniversary. Anna, their oldest, believes that there needs to be a big party to celebrate the occasion - but knows she'll be the one to do all the work to plan it. Helen is living in a convent and Brendan is on a farm off in the wilds of Ireland. Also invited are Maureen Barry, who had been Maid of Honor, Frank Quigley who was Best Man and Father James Hurley who had been the officiating priest. It seems everyone has secrets that mu ...more
Ashley
This was an OK Binchy book. It wasn't as good as Scarlet Feather, Quentin's, Circle of Friends, The Copper Beech, or Night Class! Not nearly. However it was better than Firefly Summer (my most loathed of Binchy's books), or Light A Penny Candle. Obviously not a favorite, but it's alright.
This is one of her more depressing books, although I thought it ended happily on the whole, and for what this author is capable of. Though bits are quite sad, there are some good life lessons to be learned.
As
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Michele
Like all Binchy's books, or at least all of them that I've read, this one is steeped in the emotions -- the blessing and the curse -- of friendship and family. The intertwined stories of Desmond and Deirdre Doyle, their three children, the man and woman who were best man and maid of honor at their wedding, and the priest who married them each illustrate different aspects of love and loss, and the lengths to which we go to preserve the happiness of those we love, even when we get it wrong.

As a s
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Elizabeth
Wow, this book was filled with so much angst about how we appear to others--it was very distressing. I could see so much truth in how the families held secrets and also in how people operated dishonestly. It was sad to me how low the esteem was of most of the characters in the book. It just goes to show that living life means everything is not going to be positive and everyone we meet has something in their past that is not so great. I just wished people were less judgmental of each other (in th ...more
Elizabeth Lehto
Silver Wedding tells the story of the celebration of a couple's 25th wedding anniversary, starting with the planning, followed by a series of flash backs mixed with present happenings, and all culminating at the big event.

Like most of Binchy's books, there were several narrators. However this time each person got to narrate their own chapter. I felt this book jumped around a lot with all the different narrations, it made the story hard to follow. Some of the chapters I got half way through and
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Aleta
I received this book in a Yankee swap for Christmas. I read it in 2-3 days. I found myself caught up in the different characters introduced, who were all headed for the Silver Wedding party. I thought the author did a clever job of weaving their lives together and showing how life can get complicated, or not turn out at all like the characters thought it would, or how people really aren't who they might seem, or how perceptions are individual. I think the individual characters lives will be inte ...more
Broadwaydon
People absolutely fascinate me; that's one reason I love my work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. And it's not just their stories which interest me, though that's part of it. It's also the small things we do that set us apart. I love it when I know a friend so well that I can tell in advance what will make him laugh or how she will react in a given situation. As I read Maeve Binchy's "silver Wedding," I found myself thinking that what sets her writing apart is exactly this: her characte ...more
Lynn Grundset
Just when I think the last book I read by ms. Binchy is my favorite, I read another and love it more than the last. This was another shining example of her grasp of inter-personal relationships. Her cousin, Kate Binchy, narrated the book and was marvelous. she handled the diverse accents beautifully. I find after reading a Maeve Binchy book I want to have coffee with her characters. I finished this book on tax day, my kitty Sabrina's birthday, and my daughter's modeling graduation.
Veronica Lozada
The only reason why I read this is because our professor told us to read a book that we will never pick. At first I have no idea who Maeve Binchy is, so I did some pre-reading and made myself motivated to read the book.

I find this very similar to a book that I recently read( The Three Day Rule). It has the same problems, and it was also narrated by different characters, so I didn't find this book unique. I actually find it boring in some parts, yes some revelations are good, but there are just
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Kati
The characters of this story all put forth one view of their lives to others around them ... as you read each chapter based on a different character, you find out the real story. In the end you get the feeling that many of them are beginning to realize that "projecting the right image" isn't as important as living a life you can be happy with and in.
Charlotte
This started out terribly....I just didn't buy into the whole premise. I may be a child of the eighties, but this just read wrong for me. The use of language, the bizarre importance given over to a 25th wedding anniversary. The kids, 23 being the oldest one, were also bizarre. Anna spoke like she was in her thirties, Helen like she was 13 and Brendan, no idea what was going on there. Deirdre & Desmond sounded like they were hitting 60. Just bizarre. The book did improve with Father Hurley's ...more
C.J. Prince
It does not matter, the setting or the country. What matters is families, secrets, misinterpretations, deceit, intrigue and mostly relationships.

Few writers capture the deep pain that threads beneath a family, the reasons and how children escape.

I want to tell you nothing of the story of the "Silver Wedding." Instead I will say, buy a copy, set it aside for that weekend when you want to escape, curl in front of the fire to read for it is too early to garden. Take up this book and be prepared to
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Yvonne Mendez
So far this is the only Binchy novel I've read that didn't leave me with hope and a sense of well being. It was on the depressing side. In her trademark way, the characters lives intertwine, starting from the Desmond's and their upcoming Silver Wedding to their children and what could be considered close family friends.

Each character lived their life as they choose, in some of those cases they seem like poor choices. Love is sacrificed for money, peace of mind is sacrificed for the sake of appea
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Tess
This book was yet another tribute to Maeve Binchy's enormous talent. Like majority of her work, the book was very interesting as it dealt with the lives of many intertwining character, which always kept your mind alert to comprehend each new plot change. This is also the main reason why I like the book, though a slow start, the rest of the pages were filled with excitement as each character becomes more developed and complex. I would recommend it to people who like emotion books rather than acti ...more
Felicia
Typical early Maeve Binchy. Each character had a chapter and the final chapter brought most of them together. Perception and lack of communication recurrent themes.
Beckie Shotwell
Okay, but Helen was just too unbelievable as a character. No one could be such a horrible disaster.
Seana
I'm pretty disappointed by this book. Usually Maeve Binchy is a safe bet. I've read all if her books. This would be my least favorite. The characters were really strange, especially Deirdre and Helen. Like WEIRDO strange. Then, I'm just reading away and all of a sudden things weren't making sense for a page or two and then the book ended. I flipped back to see if I somehow skipped a chapter in my ereader, but no. Like, what was up with Anna on the phone? Love? Who? Whaaat??? And then it was over ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I read this about seven years ago and do not really remember it. What I wrote at the time: Not my favorite of Binchy's. The chapters focus on different people, leading up to a 25th wedding anniversary celebration. Most of the characters never seem very happy, and there is not a lot of resolution.

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Characters in a book don't have to be happy in order for me to enjoy it. I'm thinking that I felt this way because ultimately the story was unsatisfying to me, and not what I expect from t
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Laura
This book was on my TBR shelf. I don't remember buying it; it either came out of the freebie pile in my building's laundry room, or I picked it up for a buck or less at some sale. I wasn't overly excited about it, but this is the year for my to clear my TBR shelf... er, bookcase... so when it came up, I read it.

I remembered why I do like Maeve Binchy almost instantly: she is able to tell the reader a lot about her characters with an enviable economy, to propel a story without melodrama, and she
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Jeane
Since I came to Ireland I read several Maeve Binchy stories and though they all have the same style, the same kind of stories... I always enjoyed reading them.
Silver weeding must be the one I enjoyed least for the moment.
It has been written typical Maeve Binchy way, but there wasn't enough story style in it. Maybe the story was jsut a bit too short and adding another 50-100 pages linking the several chapters a little bit more, miht have helped.
The several chapters describe a character each and t
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Jennifer Johnson

Silver Wedding sounded interesting in theory, but in execution it didn't quite pull off what I think Binchy was aiming for. The premise is that Deirdre and Desmond O'Doyle are preparing to celebrate their 25th (silver) wedding anniversary and each individual chapter focuses on the lives of individuals involved with the anniversary party. The O'Doyle Children, Desmond and Deirdre as well as the best man of their party, the maid of honor and the priest who presided over the wedding. On the surface
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Nan Williams
Sep 25, 2013 Nan Williams rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one - no one at all
I was surprised to find a Maeve Binchy book that I had not read. I've enjoyed all her books and was sorry when she died.

Now having read Silver Wedding, written in 1988, I can understand why it was never promoted as the others have been. As always she engages the reader in her characters, in their successes and their shortcomings. These characters seemed to have more "shortcomings" than most. That part was really depressing.

The theme of the book was how each character (and each of us) is living l
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Carole
I was introduced to Maeve Binchy by an 85-year-old aunt so I wasn't sure she'd be for me, but I quickly became a fan. Like other Binchy books I've read, Silver Wedding is a gently told story of loosely linked characters that builds into a cohesive whole. She subtly hones in on the human condition and the unintended consequences and lessons learned that we often experience in the course of daily living. In the end, the reader has experienced a little deviousness, a little sadness, a little joy, a ...more
Carinya Kappler
Everyone has an idea of happiness and married bliss. Maeve Binchy captures the fragile facade that Diedre and her husband Desmond have built around their lives which wards off the prying eyes of outsiders and deludes them into a false sense of security. Their daughter Anna is the only one of their three offspring who is in a position to organise the twenty-fifth wedding celebration to mark this major milestone . Maeve Binchy uses to its best effect her easy conversational style making this an ea ...more
Margitte
Maeve Binchy's books are meant to be read on a very cold day around a fire - a snuggle up day. No telephones ringing, no interruptions. She has the ability to reflect the life of a community with insight, empathy and a good dollop of humor. She also underlines the importance of bonding in the impersonal world of online socializing rather than real life involvement in other people's lives, which is happening more and more.

Being very busy in my daily life, and reading 'heavy' books as well, I fin
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Beth
Each chapter of this book is written from the point of view of a different character, which is a setup I usually enjoy. Most of these characters, however, are stuck in unhappy situations and don't have the gumption to try to change them, so I found the book generally frustrating. It was like a depressing portrayal of Thoreau's famous quote: "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." One exception: I really liked the character of Desmond, a middle-aged man who eventually tires of trying to climb ...more
Deborah
I liked the book. Binchy has a way of weaving multiple story lines throughout one book. Her characters are believable.

The reason I only gave this book 3 stars is that I didn't enjoy it as much as some of her other books. So I am rating her against herself.
Kaethe
I suggest a pairing with Haddon'sA Spot of Bother for a fun look at dysfunctional British families.
Jo
I admire Binchy's skill in fully developing her characters -- one per chapter -- and then, in those same few pages, weaving each character's individual story into her novel's primary plot. I really enjoyed her style when I read "The Lilac Bus" and here it is again, this time telling the tale of a couple prepping for their 25th wedding anniversary. Her word portraits depict complete, very real people; we get who they are and why they are that way. A very good book for those of us who enjoy relati ...more
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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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