If I knew the library carries Maeve Binchy’s book, I wouldn’t have bought so many. I’m glad to say I’ve not exhausted reading all the titles yet. This was one that I borrowed. It follows the special style of MB that I like – part anthology weaved in a story setting, with all the characters related in some way.
Lilac Bus is about the stories of the commuters who took the same bus to work. Evening Class is about a group of adult learning Italy. With so many characters to invent, what MB did was to reuse her characters in many of her books. In this book, there is Nora, the teacher from Evening class, Brenda from Quentins and some others.
Heart and Soul is about a heart clinic in Dublin and the stories behind the medical workers as well as the patients. It started out with Clare and how she, against all odd, single handedly set up a heart clinic in a disused warehouse near a hospital. In the process, she recruited her staff, a GP Declan, two nurses Barbara and Fiona, a dietitian Lavenda, a physiotherapist Johnny, a administrator Hilary and an assistant from Poland called Ania. In between, she included one tale about an obessive woman who stalked a pastor and how the medical workers unite to help save the pastor.
Like all her other books, her characters are believable and likeable, and are almost Asian in setting instead of Irish. Like how Hilary has to take care of her aged dementia mother, Clara with her two adult daughters who does not appreciate what their single mother is going through, or how Declan has to deal with his blue collered parents who are so proud of their son. And I thought the westerners leave home as soon as they turn eighteen and leave the aged to the nursing homes.
MB finds her inspiration in everyday life. Behind every person you meet daily, they all have a story to tell.