Michelle Randall's Reviews > Minding Frankie

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
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Feb 01, 12

bookshelves: irish
Read in February, 2012

Maeve Binchy is a one-of-a-kind author. I have loved her books for years, but haven't read anything from her in a long time, yet I read this, which I received as a gift from one of my groups here on Goodreads, only to find that I still love and admire her style and ability.

She can tell you the story, switching from one group of characters to another to another with you losing nothing in the telling of the story and it all seeming to flow along without a hitch or clitch and you still understand everything! Even more amazing, she mentions characters from other books and you don't have to have read the other book to understand this character, it is like all her books together create the village, and picking up one you get a certain slice of life, and yet when you pick up the next you understand life and have missed nothing by not reading thir or that other book, each stands alone and yet at the same time intermingles with the others to create a huge body of work that feels like it all came from the same place.

I love the stories of Ireland, (probably the reason that I have three children with very Irish names) and so Maeve Binchy has always been a favorite author. One that I know, in a pinch I could pick up anything written by her and know that I would enjoy it.

Minding Frankie is so well written, you have Noel, and he is mixed with Lisa as they are in the same class, and as you get to know Lisa, find that her sister is Katie, who does hair and who Father Flynn went to see to have her do the hair of a woman in the hospital, Stella, who as it turns out is pregnant but about to die and she names Noel as the father of her child. All these people who have no connections to each other, but yet in the end they do have connections, that in fact are made stronger by one tiny little baby girl named Frankie.

We are revisited by a chef named Anton, who made his first appearance in the book Quinteins, but who you can understand perfectly without ever having read Quinteins. Anton turns out to be connected to Lisa, and around and around the connections go again until everyone has a touch to someone else and yet you can jump from something going on with Anton and Lisa, to something with noel's parents, to something with Katie and her husband Garry and back to Lisa and Noel at class, and it feels like it all just flowed along, like bits and pieces of the same life, different times, but it all fits. You actually fill in or imagine on your own what Noel is doing when he is not the lead and what Katie and Garry or Lisa and Anton are doing when we are listening to someone else. It just feels like a completel story without missing a beat.

I don't look at the stars on the reviews, I don't want them to influence me, and I have no idea what this book averages out to have, but I can tell you this, it is one of the few books I gave a full 5 stars. I normally just can not bring myself to give any book a full 5 starts, 4 is ok, but to get 5 it has to be incredible, and well, this book was incredible.
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