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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  15,843 ratings  ·  588 reviews
Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant?

Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and time
Paperback, 403 pages
Published 2003 by Orion (first published 2002)
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Circle of Friends by Maeve BinchyTara Road by Maeve BinchyScarlet Feather by Maeve BinchyThe Glass Lake by Maeve BinchyQuentins by Maeve Binchy
Best Books By Maeve Binchy
5th out of 23 books — 109 voters
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourtCircle of Friends by Maeve BinchyIn the Woods by Tana FrenchDaughter of the Forest by Juliet MarillierDubliners by James Joyce
Best Fiction Set in Ireland
8th out of 285 books — 234 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I have mixed feelings about this one. There is a huge array of characters here, most of which are terrific. Unfortunately, though, the one whose story frames the rest is a complete nit. If only we could avoid her, this book would be beautiful!
Jun 30, 2009 Laurie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Modern Ireland fans
Shelves: ireland, fiction, lite-lit
This is my first Maeve Binchy book and I was pretty pleased for the most part. I was finally drawn to her because of my affinity for all things Irish.

There are enough stories and fully-fleshed out characters to keep one entertained throughout. However, the main character, Ella, does such a disservice to womankind as I have ever met in literature. Trust me though, the larger story that unfolds (most of which she doesn't appear in) is a real gem. I definitely would read another Binchy book that s
Set in contemporary Dublin, Quentins tells the story of Ella Brady, a young woman who has fallen for The Wrong Man. The tale is both universal and timeless, but this time around there is the added elements of tax fraud, hiding out in Spain and The Mystery of the Laptop Computer. While great parts of this book are highly improbable, unrealistic and unnecessary, this book was a really great read. It isn’t the main characters that make it work, but the side characters (there are many, and some from ...more
This was a re-read for me. Like going to reunion with friends, you are no sooner there than you feel as if you've never been apart. I love Maeve Binchy's writing and would heartily recommend her books to readers of contemporary fiction.
Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant? Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary abuot Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. After all the restaurant saw the people of a city become more confident in everything from their lifestyles to the food that they chose to eat. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge, of times when it looked ready f ...more
Maeve Binchy makes you feel right at home with her books. She burrows in a softness and coziness right as the first chapter opens. But while I like this one much better than "circle of friends", I do have a hard time with Maeve Binchy's stories. For what they are, I think they are too long. I love the Irish culture that is written in and the array of characters. Except, for a novel, its much to long. For short stories, Maeve Binchy would be stellar. But its just really difficult for me to keep r ...more
Anne L.
I’ve read other Maeve Binchy books and enjoyed them, so I kept giving this book chances to redeem itself; it never did. The story revolves around Ella Brady, a seemingly intelligent young woman with certain standards and values, who in chapter two starts doing stupid and illogical things. It was incredibly annoying. For example (spoiler alert), she sees nothing wrong with having an affair with a married man (after lambasting her friend for a similar indiscretion) and lying to her parents about i ...more
At first I did not like Quentins. The characters didn't seem to have much depth and the story was a little boring. I have a really hard time relating to main characters that enter into extramarital affairs. Maybe that was my main issue. But then around page 150 it picked up and I started to love/hate characters where appropriate :-) I finally began to like and care about the main character, Ella, whom I hated at the beginning of the novel.

For the most part I enjoyed the short stories offered bet
The audiobook is fantastic--lots of lovely brogues. It's a unique way of telling a story--characters are introduced separately, then they come together. I really enjoyed it, as it's a little slice of life. I wish it would have continued on.
Cecelia Hightower
I picked up this book after Maeve Binchy's death and after hearing that she was considered the JK Rowlingof Ireland. Kaylen and Bill were vacationing in Ireland so it seemed like good karma; Maeve wrote many books (like Debbie Macomber) so there were many titles to choose from... Quentins sounded interesting "a story of generations told through the history of a restaurant" ..... this book was not my cup of tea! After muddling through girl is swept off her feet by a handsome, rich man that turns ...more
This book killed my unqualified love of Binchy books.

Stopped reading at page 37, the story was going the way of Circle of Friends. Ella is the 'good' one because she has only slept with a few men by her early 20's and she begins a major romance with a married man. Her parents have a disfunctional relationship with her and each other and offer no moral guidance. Her best friend constantly has one night stands.

Becoming a nun referenced as the worst thing that could happen to a woman (no sex). Thi
Susan Decker
I can not believe I finished this book. The sub plots were okay, but the main plot was almost unbearable. Ella, the main character is a disgrace to all women. She proved herself to be a weak, vulnerable character, and everyone babied her when she finally got what she deserved. I screamed in frustration every time she pulled the "He still loves me" stunt. Come on! He fled the country with every penny of savings your family and friends had, Yeah. He still loves you, and he's SO worth waiting for. ...more
Kathleen Dixon
How delightful! These characters have connections (or several of them) with the characters in Evening Class, which I read earlier this year. It took me a while to click, but I did eventually, even before the really obvious Signora.

I’ve enjoyed this novel just as much as I enjoyed the other. I love her people and I love the way she winds their stories around. This one revolves round a busy restaurant called Quentins, bringing our key character, Ella Brady, into its environs really beautifully as
Another outing for characters from Tara Road, Evening Class, Scarlet Feather and possibly a couple of others I can't remember. In spite of the title, the framing story is of Ella Brady and her many jobs (subtext: married men who have affairs are cads, no matter how wonderful they seem). One of them is in the eponymous restaurant, and that it is the setting for a potential film leads to another job and another sub-plot. As well as providing Ella with an inevitably pleasant resolution, this strand ...more
Autumn Doughton
This book was okay. Just okay. It was the first Maeve Binchy novel that I've read since Circle of Friends back when I was in high school. Maeve Binchy has a huge fan base and I can see why--the two books that I've read are entertaining, sweet, happy-ending books perfect for cozying up to a fire with. But, honestly, I never felt that the main character, Ella Brady, was very REAL. I just didn't connect to her in a human way so the book only made it surface deep for me--if that makes any sense.
This was an enjoyable book, if you're aware of the author's typical story. It certainly is a "signature" story of Binchy's, where the major character is used to tell multiple stories of multiple characters. And as far as I've read this author, usually with some sort of satisfying ending with every problem solved and solved well.

With this book, I think the main character was not very likable, even at the end of the book, though she did have some good points. But the character still was flat and f
Dale Safford
Interesting how the separate stories of everyone blend into one whole story. Ella's tale was the most intriguing, and some of the others are quite heart-wrenching.

Ella Brady is the perfect child, and is first introduced to the restaurant Quentin's at her primary graduation when her parents help her celebrate. The owner is badly mistreating them, but hostess Brenda Brennan steps in and makes sure they have a very positive time. That becomes just the beginning of Ella's involvement with the restau
I prefer to read nonfiction but I have heard of Maeve Binchy for years and I was interested in reading one of her books. A friend suggested that I read Quentin's because the restaurant featured in the book comes up again in other Binchy books. This book has a lot of characters and story lines to follow but my favorite was the main story about a young teacher in Dublin who falls in love with a married man who also happens to be a scoundrel. The scoundrel bilks the young woman's friends and family ...more
Corran Duthie gray
This book didn't get off to a great start for me. The writing was decent, the plot as well, but the heroine, Ella, was completely unlikeable. She was presented as this sort of Mary Sue, but she is one of the most stupid characters I have ever come across. She did some incredibly idiotic things, and I found it impossible to sympathise when it all caught up to her. However, apart from that, the rest of the book was very good. The plot meant that we didn't have to deal with her for lots of the book ...more
Nicole Long
This was not my favorite Maeve Binchy book, but I still appreciate the sense of community that is her trademark. The second half of the book was much better than the first.
I love just about anything Maeve Binchy writes. I love the ordinariness (is that a word?) of her characters lives, but somehow that hold my rap attention.
Love Maeve Binchy's style of story telling, have now read this book 4 times and still love it :)
I always enjoy Maeve Binchy - her characters are very real and the stories enjoyable
This book kept me reading and guessing about how it would end.
Ella Brady has a nice, if quiet, life as a schoolteacher when she meets Don Richardson. She knows he is married, but falls hard for him and is soon having an affair with him. She completely trusts him, believing everything he tells her, and is shocked when he flees Ireland after having conned several people out of their money, including many of Ella's friends and her own father. Shamed, Ella quits teaching and takes on several part time jobs to help her family financially. One job she takes on i ...more
Alexis Villery
After a devastating end to an affair with a married man, Ella quits her job and begins to work at Quentins to help out her family. She throws herself into creating a documentary of the restaurant to get over her heartbreak. We also follow Brenda and Patrick (owners of Quentins), Ella's friends, and many others who had been in contact in with the restaurant in one way or the other. The stories weave into each other in unexpected ways creating a heartwarming story.

If you are a fan of Maeve Binchy,
Jennifer Garcia
This was a great story of many lives, as Maeve Binchy does it, and many wonderful moments as well as heartbreaking ones. Familiar characters visit in this story and we get those wonderful little twins again. The new characters introduced were wonderfully done and learning more about the more familiar ones fed my never ending need to know more.

Ella believed she fell in love with a married man and that he loved her. Turns out he was quite the con-artist, liar, and crazy person. The chaos he cause
Scherry Siganporia
Readers!! My first Maeve Binchy book which I read and i must say I love it...i truly loved the essence of Dublin, the simplicity of the small town where everyone knows everyone and the betrayal by the hero... I have to confess, the little cafe - Quentins is somewhat of a hub where life comes together. There are tiny stories within this entire novel which is nice, yet sometimes a bit unwanted. What I loved was the super racy end which had me gripping the book tightly, wondering what path would sh ...more
Panthère Rousse
Pas mal, mais pas le meilleur roman de cette auteure, moins prenant que d'autres. L'histoire s'interrompt deux fois pour une série de courts chapitres où interviennent des personnages qui ne figurent pas dans le reste du livre. Lorsque j'ai lu la première de ces nouvelles, j'ai dû retourner en arrière pour voir qui étaient ces gens. J'avais lâché le livre quelques jours et je me disais que j'avais dû en oublier des bouts. Mais j'ai fini par comprendre que ça n'avait pas grand-chose à voir avec l ...more
Not my favorite of Maeve Binchy, but there is something to be said about her writing. Even though I wasn't loving the main character or the story, I still had to find out what happened next and I read it fairly quickly.

Spoiler Alert!!! This will be a summary of the book, so don't read if you plan on reading this one...

This is the story of Ella Brady, who falls in love with charming (but married!!!) Don Richardson. Don is a fraudulent investment broker and many people in Dublin entrust him with t
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Intriguing, great ending. 3 18 Jul 30, 2013 12:49AM  
1st Book! 13 56 Jan 19, 2013 01:14PM  
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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.
More about Maeve Binchy...
Tara Road Circle of Friends Evening Class Scarlet Feather A Week in Winter

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