Saturday, January 28, 2012
Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy.....
Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors, one of those whose books I buy immediately when they come out. I don't remember how I got interested in her writing, but most of her books are set in Ireland, and I'm fascinated by the culture. Her writing style is simple without being boring or dull. (Is that redundant?) Many of her characters show up across several books, but it's not like you HAVE to have read the earlier ones to "get it."
Minding Frankie is about a young man named Noel whom I would probably describe as a "loser" if I knew him in real life. He still lives with his parents, didn't finish school, is in a dead-end job that he hates, and hides his alcoholism (but not very well). His (quite a bit older) cousin arrives from America and takes their little town (village? street?) by storm, taking on many people-projects and doing pretty well with most of them. Noel becomes a project unwittingly when he is called to the bedside of a terminally ill, very pregnant woman and told he is the father of this soon-to-be-born-and-subsequently-motherless child.
I like Maeve Binchy's writing style because she doesn't try to make readers like the unlikable, and she doesn't try to hide characters' flaws. They are people, after all, and you have to take them "warts and all," as my mother used to say. Characters don't always wind up "happily ever after," but you get the feeling they wind up as they were meant to.