Katherine Coble's Reviews > Minding Frankie

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
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Apr 02, 2011

it was amazing
Read in April, 2011

No, it wasn't "as good as" Circle Of Friends or some of the other early Binchy books which take you back to mid-20th Century Ireland so well. (Firefly Summer is another favourite of mine).

But this was the perfect 21st century Maeve Binchy, when she's less concerned with how the Roman Catholic culture forced expectations on the people of Ireland that were impossible to live up to. Instead she weaves these fascinating tales about ordinary people going about their business and finding heart and joy in Community. We meet several new denizens of the now-familiar St. Jarlath's Crescent and are treated to grace notes as we hear this and that about old favourites like Tom Feather, Cathy Scarlett, Muttie and Lizzie, Maud and Simon. In this way Binchy is very much like Harry Potter for adults, capturing an escapist family and place the reader "knows" and loves to go back to.

I read this book in one sitting. I laughed plenty and got choked up more than once. If you're a fan of Binchy, don't overlook this gem. I would encourage you to read Scarlet Feather first, though. (ideally you'd read all the books between Scarlet Feather and this one, as characters from all of those books put in cameo appearances. But Scarlet Feather's secondary characters become main characters here, and Minding Frankie packs much more of paunch if you know them already.)
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Jennifer Dunn I love that the previous books' characters appear, but I have trouble remembering many of them aside from the big standouts like Muttie, Lizzie, Tom, Cathy and the Twins, even though I've read all of Binchy's books. Do you have that problem? For example, I vaguely remember Martin (was it Martin?) lost his job and got a post teaching Latin and that Signora was the teacher on Evening Class. We need a character glossary! (And I'm sure there's one out there online if I look!)


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