This review is addressed to readers who have been following Binchy's characters since Scarlet Feather. (Through Quentins; Nights of Rain and Stars; Whitethorn Woods; Heart and Soul.) They all reappear here, like a family reunion you've been waiting years for, and there are new ones to meet and love as well: Noel, the alcoholic who makes the very unwelcome discovery that he's going to be a father soon, and the mother of his baby is someone he hardly knows, who is on her deathbed. There're Noel's Irish Catholic parents, who've just won a huge sum of money, and plan to use it all to build a grand statue to an obscure saint; There's Emily, the American cousin who moves in and manages them all quite capably; There's Moira the social worker whose unhappy childhood makes her relentless in her quest to find something wrong with Frankie's caregivers, and of course there's Frankie herself, the baby who draws them together and brings out the best in each of them.
Back to those of you who already know and love Binchy's characters: (Muttie and Lizzie Scarlett; the twins Maud and Simon and their dog Hooves; Brenda and Patrick from Quentins...need I go on?) Be sure you read this with a box of tissues at your side, and prepare to howl.
I have no other comment than to say that the day Maeve Binchy stops writing is the day the world will become a poorer place.