Rebekah's Reviews > The Return Journey

The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy
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Jan 04, 10

Read in February, 2007

I have read a number of Maeve Binchy stories, both novels and short stories in collections. This was the first collection I had read of just her work. At first I was confused not realizing that these were not one cohesive story. I like seeing how characters develop over a longer period, not that some of these stories didn’t traverse months or more. The Return Journey walked the reader through the lives of many people sometimes their interaction was indirect and accidental, sometimes it involves a compassionate gesture that is accepted.
One story of a housewife who retains the service of a house-sitter finds that her life is missing something, she sees a glimpse of what it could be and never quite recovers her happiness. One story of a spinster who watches other lives only to find her happiness late in life realizes just how unhappy she could have been if she had led a more “typical” life. There were too many women having affairs to really make me content, but perhaps that will make more sense to me later. One of the women really was just bored, and when she and the husband of her friends tries to add some excitement with a fling they find that the excitement of almost getting caught is more than enough.
A story of folks who think they are perfect for each other for a season only to discover that packing differences will lead them their different ways helps one to see the difficulty of finding romance in this day in age. Compatibility is a fickle thing and Ms. Binchy is all about finding the little things that make people either click or not. That makes these stories worth returning too.
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