Saturday, December 4, 2010

Minding Frankie

When Stella realises that she will not survive the birth of her daughter she contacts Noel Lynch and asks him, as the father of the child, to look after Frankie. Noel, a drifter and an alcoholic, appears the least likely person to bring up a child but the close family and neighbourhood network that is St Jarlath's Crescent, Dublin, provides the support mechanism required, if he will respond to it.

As with other Maeve Binchy novels, this books examines the relationships of a close community as they face the challenges of life. One of the successes of Maeve Binchy's stories is the use and development of characters and places already known to her readers as well as the introduction of new characters that become pivotal parts of the multiple stories interleaved throughout the book. New characters include Emily, the daughter of the brother of Noel's father, who visits from America and quickly becomes an important member of the local community and a catalyst for some of the stories as does Moira, the social worker appointed to look out for Frankie's interests, who faces her own family problems as she attempts to carry out her job while Lisa, attempting to establish a new life after making an unfortunate career move, finds perspective again through involvement in this close-knit St Jarlath's Crescent community. The continuation of stories introduced in earlier books further add to the involvement of the reader in the lives of well loved characters.

Maeve Binchy fans will love this addition to her continuing stories of the struggles and joys of life in suburban Dublin.

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