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Evening Class

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  39,390 ratings  ·  1,094 reviews
Among the many evening classes starting all over Dublin is an 'Introduction to Italian'. On the surface it could be just one of hundreds in which some students will succeed and some will fall along the way. the hopes and dreams of so many people are tied up in the twice weekly lessons. they are ready to set off on the promised trip to Italy at the end of the year, everyone ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published June 30th 2005 by Orion Publishing Group (first published 1996)
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D. A direct answer: Sensitive and middle aged, that's the two MAIN characters (at least). I reread this and ended Oct 13, longing to tell somebody about …moreA direct answer: Sensitive and middle aged, that's the two MAIN characters (at least). I reread this and ended Oct 13, longing to tell somebody about Evening Class. Even the little known people here (person who drives Laddy to Evening class, Brenda Brennan, and Penny-the Secretary to Paul Malone) are one's you get to know! One man, Ken, loves an Irish woman, but relocates to NY, and though you don't see Ken after that, he affects the tale's end. The book has a set of 4 to seven Main characters. All of whom are memorable! (is Signora the Main protagonist? She is roomate to Connie, and so much more!).(less)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  39,390 ratings  ·  1,094 reviews


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Suzanne
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book, Maeve is just the best. I loved this so much as I haven't travelled, but I can say she took me there. Maeve Binchy is an author that you think you know, kinship could be the word? When she passed away I was incredibly sad, and surprised by it. She writes the type of book to re-read. Actually, I think she may have been one of my first authors I read as an older teen, not 'Dolly Fiction' etc. My mum leant me her Maeve books and it became a 'thing' of ours. This is what is ub ...more
deliabookworm
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Evening Class one broiling summer at my grandparent's house in Baltimore. It was 98 degrees every day; with the humidity it felt hotter. To make things even worse, I had my period that week. I also hadn't brought enough books to read. I finished (and reread) the six books I had taken, then proceeded to raid my grandmother's bookshelf. The first book I borrowed was The Lord of the Flies, the second, Death of a Salesman. It was with relief I picked up a book that looked remotely like chickl ...more
Lisa
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, top-author
Awwww I didn't want this book to end!!! This is Maeve at her best - weaving together the stories of people attending an evening class in Italian.
Such a cosy heart warming story and the audio version (read by Kate Binchy) is as always superb.
I love these people and want them to be my friends!I could listen to this family saga for hours...bliss.
Katie Lumsden
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic novel – powerful, clever, funny and poignant, and full of vignettes weaving together. The characterisation was wonderful, and I can't wait to read more by Maeve Binchy.
Melindam
Whether it's hot and you need a book while lying on the beach or raining and you need a one to curl up with at home, either way this book is a perfect choice.

Take a bunch of people all over Dublin with different characters, background, social standing, dreams and fears and throw them together in an unlikely place like a suburbian schoolroom where they meet to learn.. ITALIAN of all things.

The result is CHANGE for the better for all of them though it may come with twists and turns told in the tra
...more
Kathryn
Aug 03, 2008 rated it liked it
I really wish that this site had half stars because I would push this up to a 3.5 stars, but couldn't really give it the full 4. The format of this book was especially interesting because if followed different individual characters for a period and than brought all their stories together in the end. I am definitely a Maeve Binchy fan now and would read anything written by her. Her books make everyday type events and people interesting.
Tina
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: round-table, 2012
**SPOILERS .... BEWARE!!!**

I found this read pretty interesting. Each chapter is narrated by a different character & all of the characters are intertwined in some way, other than their obvious attendance to the evening class. This shouldn't have been a problem…. but by the time I got to the 6th character (or-so) I'd forgotten the first 5 & had to seriously rack my brain to figure out how the characters were connected, who was who, and who did what. (Maybe it’s my ever-increasing old age. YIKES!)
...more
Negin
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maeve Binchy has been a huge part of my reading life since I was 18, when a friend urged me to read “Echoes”. Since that time, I had read almost everything by her. One of my dreams in life was to meet her someday. Sadly, she died a few years ago. Her books are delightful comfort reads, and I’ve decided that I would like to re-read them.

I enjoyed this book as much as I did the first time that I read it. The setting is Ireland, as are pretty much all of her books, where several different characte
...more
Obsidian
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I apologize in advance for not reviewing these books in the order of publication. I tend to go back again and again to my tried and true Binchy novels. I decided this year I will aim to at least post reviews for all of the books that I have read. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I enjoyed re-reading this book, Heart & Soul, and This Year it Will Be Different. There is something so homey with these books. At this time I have been reading about the same characters for more than a dozen years. I li ...more
Prillia
May 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's a bad thing about Binchy's books. Once I start reading, I couldn't stop myself. The day before yesterday at midday I started to read Evening, I didn't do other things except reading it to the last. It was about 2 o'clock in the morning when my eyes couldn't recognise a single word. My brain still on it, but the eyes stopped to cooperate.

Once again, Evening Class was a sweet story about people who gathered in an Italian evening class. People like Signora O'Donoghue, Aidan Duenne, Katherine a
...more
Debbie Zapata
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019sundaze
This is the second title in my current Maeve Binchy mini revival. It is a duplicate from my Mom's bookcases, so I will shift it over to mine now that I have finished reading it. This is one reason there are so many books in our house. Mine sometimes go to her, hers sometimes come to me, and if a book flunks the "I'll take that one, it sounds good" test, it goes to the library. What can I say, at least we have fun!

Anyway, I loved Evening Class, even though I am not sure the 'connected short stor
...more
Maureen Mullis
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Just a breathtaking book! Maeve Binchy is one of the best story tellers the world has known. The layers, the depth, the richness of her books is unparalleled. Evening Class, about people who come together two evenings a week to study Italian and the culture of Italy. Each chapter covers the story of a student and how they wound up there. So marvelous. These characters will hang in your mind long after you turn the last page.
Christine
May 20, 2011 added it
Shelves: nocwbc-picks
This is the first novel I have read by Binchy. I am not sure why I avoided her in the past. For some reason, her cover art screamed bad romance novel, I guess. I was pleasantly surprised to find a character driven novel that was pleasant to read. Certainly not great literature, but not a bad summer read for some fun. Things I liked: Characters were well developed, it is clear that the author knows that aspect well. The way the story was told from numerous points of view in the format of each mai ...more
Sonia
Dec 25, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I admit I read this out of guilt, because my mom gifted it to me a few years ago (it's about a Latin teacher with Italophilia). Plus I needed something to pass the night in PDX. But the book was LOUSY. The characters had all the depth of a jello parfait. I do not understand the appeal of this writing at all.
Dem
May 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Review to follow.
Beth
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A lovely feel-good book packed with sympathetic and realistic characters to love and root for.
Tiffany
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I think I'm reading so many of these because they represent an escape from the absolute awfulness all around right now. This book made me want to learn Italian or take a class for fun.
Ghost of the Library
Ah the magic of the irish people and their story telling skills...bewitching they are rumored to be, when a good teller of tales is found, and such i believe is the case with Maeve Binchy herself.

Evening Class and its 8 characters is another fine, if not perfect, example of Ms. Binchy´s qualities and skills in drawing a reader to her story like you would be drawn into a talk with a friend you haven´t seen in ages, but long to know how he/she is doing. You´ll probably shed a tear or get angry ove
...more
Taryn
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
If you like stories with lots of quirky characters who wouldn’t normally be friends coming together for a common goal, you’ll like Evening Class. Maeve Binchy is a name that came up over and over as I searched for Irish authors (in preparation for a recent trip to the Emerald Isle), and I can see why her books are so popular. I loved the warm tone and the generosity she showed her characters, even those who maybe didn’t deserve it. A disheartened teacher sets up a night class for adults in the c ...more
Sarah
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've read many of Maeve Binchy's books, but this one is still my favorite. Nora, a young Irish girl from a loveless home, falls hopelessly in love with Mario and follows him back to Sicily, even though he intends to marry the girl his family has picked out for him. She stays there for twenty-five years, sitting in a room across the square from where Mario and his family live, watching their comings and goings. But that's all backstory. The real story begins when Nora, now known as "Signora," fin ...more
Kerry
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'Evening Class' is an enjoyable piece of chick-lit which tells the story of how an evening class at a rundown high school, changes various individuals' lives. It's long, but worth the effort, in that it has that 'feel good' factor, and makes for an enjoyable story that you can read anywhere.

Nevertheless, I had quite a few complaints with the book. I found the main character of Signora utterly detestable and pathetic, and therefore very difficult to warm to, and I felt that with many of the char
...more
Loralee
Jan 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
Maeve Binchy is my new favorite author. She takes ordinary characters, takes a long chapter to share their story, and then intertwines all their stories to make a satisfying book.

Aiden Dunne is a hardworking Latin teacher in a working class neighborhood in Dublin, Ireland. He has devoted his life to the school in the hope of becoming the principal someday. The school leadership has other ideas, but to soften the blow, he is offered the chance to start an evening school.

Nora O'Donoghue, a Dublin
...more
Suzanne
Mar 04, 2008 rated it liked it
This is not one of Maeve's better books (Circle of Friends and Tara Road are better) but is a fun read and enjoyable. The plot centers around an Evening Class" (held in a small town in Ireland) teaching the Italian language and its culture to a group of Irish adults who need something new to jumpstart their engines and break up the monotony of their lives. Each student has his story and Binchy brings them all together and sews up every loose end using her superb easy style in a thoroughly entert ...more
Rachel
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, fiction
This novel was so wonderful. I generally don’t like short story collections because as soon as I get invested in the characters and the story, it ends. This is not a short story collection but much of the book reads that way without the complete ending of that character’s story. Each chapter is from the perspective of someone involved with an evening adult education class for learning Italian, but even when the chapter ends, their story is still woven into the other stories. So in a way, it is t ...more
Yvonne
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really loved this story! It was very sweet.
Stef Rozitis
At it's best it was charming, feel-good escapism with somewhat two-dimensional characters reminiscent in style and content of L M Montgomery or the more shallow passages of Tamora Pierce. In this way I sort of enjoyed bits of it, even while disapproving of myself for enjoying it (like eating an oversweetened chocolate bar). The writing throughout was simple and almost childish, it reminded me of Enid Blyton for example p349 "And they had shaken hands with such vigour that both of their arms were ...more
Beth
Oct 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some time now I've been thinking about creative formats for novels, and one of my best ideas was to introduce an extremely-unlikely-to-have-anything-to-do-with-each-other set of characters and tell their various stories until they all twine into one. Maeve Binchy did something very similar to that in Evening Class, and that was what made this book shine for me. (Her plot, as usual, had a fair amount of angst and marital affairs, but I guess I'm getting used to that.) She waited to tell many ...more
Mary
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ireland lovers, those who like character based novels and detailed descriptions
Shelves: 2016-read, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
It was a delightful read. I felt like living inside each of the character's own dreams and wishful thinking. It was noteworthy to think that Maeve Binchy is very much concerned with every character's right to a private and distinguishable life. It was also marvelous how she can prove through one single read how small the world really is. The plot of the novel had me guessing all throughout whether who was and who is. It was an enjoying classy tale of love and friendship.
M
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish, 2010-books, romance
Very interesting story of several Dubliners who enroll in an Italian evening class. Binchy has a marvelous way of tying their lives together. Everyone seems to be linked in some way. I followed the story eagerly, and was very satisfied with the outcome.
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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. Although she described herself as an overweight child, her parents' attitude gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she was.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved travelin
...more

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