Friday, April 29, 2011
Publisher/Format: Books on Tape,2011, 13+hrs, 400 pg equivalent
Narrator: Sile Bermingham
Subject: Alcoholism, single parenthood, friendship
Setting: Dublin Ireland
Source: public library
I have always enjoyed Maeve Binchy's charming tales of life in Ireland. She does not sugar coat troubles, nor does she always bring us "happily every after" endings. In this latest novel about life in modern day Dublin, we meet Noel, an alcoholic ne'er do well, who is still living with his parents, who doesn't like his job and who isn't exactly motivated to do anything about it, until he is summoned to the bedside of an old girlfriend who is pregnant and dying of cancer. She tells him he is the father, and she's leaving the baby in his care. And although suddenly Noel has motivation-- a daughter named Frankie--he still needs a lot of help with the totally unfamiliar world of parenthood.
With the generous and enabling help of a cousin from America, who has recently arrived in town for an extended stay, he finds a place to live, he enrolls in college, he gets a roommate who trades him part-time child care for free rent, he learns to cook, and most importantly he joins AA and begins a life of sobriety. This is not to say the story is all roses, there are lots of thorns - especially the overbearing child welfare social worker who is determined to find an excuse to take little Frankie away from him. There are dear friends, nosy neighbors, and doting grandparents. It has its scary moments, but it has heart-warming ending. It is a charming story that leaves the reader wanting another chapter.
If you enjoy stories with Irish charm, if you enjoy Maeve Binchy's writing, you will certainly enjoy this one. It is especially well done in audio.
Posted by Tina at 2:02 PM