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The Return Journey

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  6,201 Ratings  ·  406 Reviews
In this extraordinary collection of stories, the New York Times-bestselling author of Evening Class and This Year It Will Be Different once again reveals her incomparable understanding of matters of the heart. In The Return Journey, Maeve Binchy brings us sons and lovers, daughters and strangers, husbands and wives in their infinite variety--powerfully compelling stories o ...more
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Published September 4th 2007 by Dell (first published 1998)
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Shelley Last winter I read Circle of Friends and liked it enough to pick up a couple other Binchy books I found in a thrift store. I did not care for this one…moreLast winter I read Circle of Friends and liked it enough to pick up a couple other Binchy books I found in a thrift store. I did not care for this one as much.(less)
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Kaethe
The Return Journey - Maeve Binchy  Adventures of the timid. Bunch does a thing where two people meet, strike up an immediate friendship, and proceed to give one another excellent advice about managing their lives. She does that here,and it is really good, pragmatic advice. Anyway, stories about middle class adults and their working class parents, with some affairs included to keep things dramatic, to amusing effect in Excitement. And no one else has done a better job of portraying just how tirin ...more
Susan
Apr 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Normally I LOVE Maeve Binchy. I love the style she has of intertwining characters and stories, showing that the world is really a small place. I love her warm, friendly characters who all seem so real it makes you want to know them, to be friends with him, to be included in their circle. But this one was a disappointment. There was no intertwining of stories, no characters who at first seem random, but somehow become connected in some way later on. It is several small sections, each with its own ...more
Rebekah
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 ...more
Alison C
The Return Journey is a collection of short stories by Maeve Binchy, stories published between 1994 and 2004 as far as I can tell. Keeping the title in mind, they are all tales about travel - people going somewhere, people returning from somewhere, people in the middle of their journey, people just trying to get started. A couple that moved me the most include "The Crossing," in which two women, strangers, chat companionably while on the ferry crossing from Ireland to Liverpool; they tell each o ...more
Hannie
Dit boek heb ik met als titel Verhalen uit Ierland.
Maureen Grigsby
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is more cozy than reading a book by Maeve Binchy?
Don
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I say that "The Return Journey" is typical Maeve Binchy and you don't know who Maeve Binchy is, you might decide not to read this remarkable treasury of short stories. But if you have ever experienced the wonder of Binchy's writing, you'll run right out and pick it up.

The fourteen stories which comprise this volume are quite different from one another in tone and theme. But they all have certain things in common. All deal in one way or another with travel. All show the profound understanding
...more
Preethi Venugopala
An absolutely delicious collection of short stories from Maeve Binchy.
Chloe
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I hate short stories, so I don't know why I keep trying with them. These are all short stories about relationships, travel, etc. Each one is 20 pages or less I think, and just like with other short stories, I feel like it finally got to the point when it ended. I enjoyed some stories more than others, but overall I felt like it was a sludge to get through it. I considered DNF'ing it because even the most enjoyable stories weren't ones that I really cared about or got too invested in, but I'm ter ...more
Christina
For the most part I enjoyed these travel related short stories which is why I rated them an overall score of 3 1/2 stars. If you are looking for the same interweaving tales that you get from a Maeve Binchy novel, you won’t find that in this collection. For that you either need to invest more time and read her novels or if you prefer short stories, maybe read something from Isak Dinesen instead. However this is perfect if you are looking for something light that you can read while waiting at the ...more
Michelle
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun collection of short stories. Found it in on free library shelf at a campground we are staying at. I really enjoyed the writing style, the overriding message of the grass not always greener on the other side, and her general commentary on relationships.
Stephanie Holcomb
Maeve Binchy can infuriate me sometimes. It's like she has a contract for 3 books, and the first is well thought out with an interesting story and characters you can relate to and sympathize with, unique in all aspects and with some twists and turns you don't expect. But maybe that first book takes a lot of time to write, so she contractually has to write 2 more, and they are hurriedly written with no core, characters and stories that are boring and really normal and nothing exciting, so when yo ...more
Mary
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes short stories
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
This is a collection of short stories in which Maeve Binchy introduces us to sons, brothers, fathers, mothers, sisters and lovers. She looks at the relationships and the affect of love on her characters. I have to say that although I usually love Maeve Binchy as an author and am definitely willing to give anything she has written a fighting chance to take me away; I found this particular book lacking in parts.

I had read this book before several years ago and of course had forgotten what it was l
...more
Julie
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently read a short story collection that was published after Maeve Binchy's death and was really underwhelmed by it. This collection though is what you would expect.
The stories are all extremely well crafted and leave you with Maeve's hallmark of the feel good factor. Relationships form the basis of all the stories and the mess we all get into at times. They are all unique, but come together as a very satisfying read.
I am reading my mother's old collection of books at present and I really f
...more
Yvonne Mendez
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors and continues to be. Normally her stories include many unique characters who are interrelated to each other. In this case, each chapter is an unique story, all of the stories have to do with vacations and in them you feel like you're getting a quick peek at people's lives. This book reminds me a lot of real life, you may meet someone and get to know their present and past, but you might never know what happened next and you move on. This is a light read ...more
Noura Al-jabeli
Jul 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's books like these that make me remind myself to never pick a book in a hurry no matter how reputable the bookstore seems or how interesting the summary is.
I literally had a headache reading the back and forth letters between whiny whatshername and her characterless mother and the summary style of this book made me feel like the author just wanted to finish writing this book in a couple of hours.
Shonel Teke
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you feel low and in need of some motivation, or a simple reminder of how wonderful life is, I have just one recommendation—Maeve Binchy! I picked up this novel looking for a heart-warming book that I can curl up and read. And you know what?

Just as expected, Binchy delivers a soul-stirring collection of short stories all related to a vacation, the holiday season, and perpetual plans of ordinary people. There is a story for every single person out there — a mother-daughter duo, a search for
...more
Jessica Nilsson
I've never been a fan of short stories, so I mostly read this to have something easy to plow through a couple of days and it's been in my shelf for such a long time. For being short stories they are well written, but as they are short you never get to know any characters deeply or get a feeling for them really.. It's okay, if you like it short and simplistic; the variety of situations and people are quite alright for being so few pages. It's an okay "read-and-then-give-away"-book :)
Soozee
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really easy read, and very entertaining. The author really knows how to pull the heartstrings and get you involved with a character, even in a short story. These stories were all entertaining, providing a different insight into the Irish psyche, and I could relate to the tales which all had travel as their central theme. A good read.
Barbara Skalberg
Sometimes it would be better if I did read the summaries ahead of time because in this case, I wouldn’t have been disappointed to find out each chapter was a stand alone story. I kept wanting their paths to intersect. I do love and appreciate the way the author is able to create such distinct and lovable characters. I wanted more of all of them!
Cynthia
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I generally don't like short story collections because for some reason they tend to be depressing. But Maeve Binchy is an exception. Every story is a complete little tiny novel in itself, with full plot development, full character expansion and growth, beautiful descriptions and dialogue. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
Sue Sullivan
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the book interesting. The characters were real. Bunch has a way of writing that draws you in and makes you part of the stories.

I would suggest this as a summer or beach read. I read it in one sitting. The stories are just long enough .
Deniselt
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Normally I love Maeve's books, but this collection of short stories just didn't do it for me. There just wasn't enough time to get to know or like the characters, but then again maybe that's why I generally don't like short stories.
Cecly Ann
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not vintage Maeve

This collection although interesting was not vintage Maeve. Enjoyable and satisfying but not the clear and crisp inspirational narrative of Binchy's that I've come to love.
Babs
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading one of Binchy's books is like visiting with an old friend.
Sharon
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's an ok read. Short stories a good book to pick up and put down.
April Coker
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed this book of short stories more than Maeve Binchy novels I have read. She is a master of character development and plot building. I highly recommend.
NuNu
May 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not what I was looking for from one of my favorite authors.
Claire Felong
Interesting short stories of personal relationships with good insights. Some seemed sort of the same. Read on a short vacation.
Teri Pre
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: june2017
I prefer Binchy's novels to her short stories.
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Review Return Journey. 1 1 Jul 13, 2016 04:39AM  
  • The Carousel
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2,939 followers
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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