February 12, 2012

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy - it takes a village

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

Okay, I admit, I've been a Maeve Binchy fan since Tara Road. Most of our favorite writers will occasionally put out a book that just isn't as good as others, but this book is not one of those books. It's easily as good as my other favorite Binchy titles.

Noel Lynch is going nowhere in a dead end job, he's still living with his parents, and he's a little too fond of alcohol, when he hears from a girl he can't even remember. She's in the local cancer ward, massively pregnant, and claiming he is the father of her baby. What does Noel do? He runs away from the situation and goes into full on denial about the possibility that he just may be the daddy, and that he just may have to take custody of the baby when the girl goes for a c-section that she knows will kill her.

What Binchy does with this story is phenomenal. She brings in some characters from many of her recent books and then proceeds to tell the story from multiple viewpoints without ever losing her way or losing the interest of the reader. She brings the characters so brilliantly to life, that you grow to care for all of them, even the nasty social worker who, haunted by her own past, yearns to take Frankie away from Noel. She serves as the flawed, sympathetic villain of the story. There are no misteps or sagging areas of this story. A truly excellent tale.


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