Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy
Chestnut Street is a collection of short stories compiled after Maeve Binchy’s death in 2012. It is vintage Maeve Binchy as the characters represent the full range of humanity grappling with sorrows, joys and the complications of living.
Represented are teachers, office workers, nurses, window cleaners, shopkeepers and others with wholesome characters. There are also the bad eggs, salt of the earth, grifters, never do wells, in this case, deadbeat and unfaithful men, worriers, the brokenhearted and even some from across the ocean who find love on Chestnut Street. Each character’s story is presented in a matter of fact, down to earth tone that says this is the way life is for each character. The misfortune experienced in the lives of some is minimized by an undertone of humor that seems to say what really matters is how one deals with life not what happens in life. One cannot help but root for the strong, dislike but not hate the bad, and root for all in this collection.
For those who enjoy short stories tinged with joy, pathos and humor, this collection is a delightful compendium to the many walks Maeve Binchy presented in her stories. These varied streets in Ireland are replete with friends easily found.
Reviewed by Karen