Wednesday, March 4, 2009

REVIEW: The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy

Return Journey cover Genre: Fiction, Short Stories
Pub Date: March 1998, Dell Publishing
Format: Hardcover, 214 pages
Source/FTC Disclosure: I purchased my copy of this book. I was in no way compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.
The Return Journey--a spellbinding trip into the human heart...

In these powerful, poignant tales, the New York Times bestselling author of Evening Class and Tara Road once again reveals her unrivaled understanding of matters of the heart. Here are sons and lovers, daughters and strangers, husbands and wives in their infinite variety--powerfully compelling stories of love and loss, revelation and reconciliation.

A secretary's silent passion for her boss meets the acid test on a business trip--.An insecure wife clings to the illusion of order, only to discover chaos at the hands of a house sitter who opens the wrong doors--. A pair of star-crossed travelers take each other's bags, and then learn that when you unlock a stranger's suitcase, you enter a stranger's life.-- In their company are many more journeys of hope and discovery--unforgettable slices of life from the incomparable Maeve Binchy.


I actually have never read any of Maeve Binchy's books, though I see them all the time and think about picking one up, I never have. While I often find collections of short stories to be very hit or miss, I thought this would be a good way for me to familiarize myself with Binchy and decide if I wanted to pick up one of her novels. Sheri at A Novel Menagerie was offering free books and was kind enough to send this one to me.

In the end, I can't say I was too impressed, and I guess it goes back to why short stories are very hit or miss for me. I just don't feel that 15 to 20 pages allows an author to really develop characters (or stories) you care about, and this book was no exception to that. Sure, there were one or two stories that were heartwarming, but most of them left me feeling hung out to dry--there just seemed to be something missing. In fact, it's only been a couple of days since I read this, and I can barely remember what any of the stories were about--they were entirely forgettable, for the most part. What I will say is that the writing is very well done and I think I might enjoy reading one of her novels. I guess it could be considered a good escapist read, and it allows you to read a little bit and put the book down if you need to be doing something else, but it's not a book I would feel the desire to re-read.

 3 stars


  1. I have her best novel "Tara Road" on my TBR pile. When I'm done, I'll mail it to you. Let's try another!


  2. Now you scared me here a little bit. I own three books by Binchy, never read any but heard so much about her that I thought I would buy them.
    I hope they're better than the short story collection, lol.


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