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Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy
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Minding Frankie (2011)

by Maeve Binchy, Maeve Binchy

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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
I absolutely adore Maeve Binchy. She's the sort of person I'd love to sit down and have a cup of tea with. I imagine she's hilarious and sweet and a joy to know.

This book, about a man who suddenly finds himself the father of a child orphaned by a woman he barely remembers, drove me to tears, not once, but twice. And not just a trickle of tears, but big cry-baby tears that woke my husband up. Only good story-tellers can do that.

One of the things I love about Binchy's books is how richly woven they are, full of characters and story plots. You can pick up any of her books and start to read, but all of her books are sort of a continuum -- characters from previous books have a lesser but still important role in the book you're holding in your hands. Stephen King, another favorite of mine, does the same thing (but obviously, he's cut from a much different cloth).

Run, don't walk, to get this book.

And make sure you have some tissues.

( )
  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
Enjoyed very much. I love Binchy's characters. I think the more of her books I read, the more I come to like her style. Good books to enjoy with a cup of tea. Other reviewers have given a good idea of the story line. ( )
  Jonlyn | Apr 24, 2014 |
Family, friends and neighbors come together to help a single father make a home for his newborn daughter, who makes a sudden appearance in his life. The "evil fairy" in this almost magical tale is the overly suspicious social worker, always on the lookout for a breakdown in the system. An uplifting, happily-ever-after story, the kind of book I'm looking for now as I recover from knee surgery. ( )
  FancyHorse | Jan 31, 2014 |
This review starts with what I wrote while reading the book and then goes into my final assessment.

This book is frustrating the hell out of me. I read this book for Noel and Frankie, reading the summary they should be the primary focus. But I can't even remember the last time they were mentioned, let alone the focus of the story. There are like 100 characters and Binchy goes into great detail about all their lives, and I really, really don't care.

It's not like the book is bad, but I don't care about all these character's stories. The baby was born and suddenly she and her father become almost irrelevant to the story. They're merely footnotes at this point. We only hear how they're doing from these third parties mentioning it while we read on and on and on about their personal lives.

It's like the movie The Grudge. Anytime someone interacts with a new person we then have to delve into the new person's life.

There have been chapters on Lisa Kelly, Declan Carroll, and Moira Tierney. Actually, at this point I'm more inclined to say the book is about Moira more than anything else. Binchy seems to stick with her the most. I'm on chapter ten and the last time the book was in Noel's point of view was chapter six and it was literally only a page, if that. Before that there were four pages in the middle of that same chapter. There is no rhyme or reason to whose point of view she jumps to and when. It's all very confusing and vastly frustrating.

I wanted to be present for noel's struggles and bonding with the baby. I want to read about Noel making his way as a new single father. I want to know that he loves his daughter. There is a frustrating lack of emotion, too. Her writing is very detached and unconcerned with making me feel with or for the characters. Frankie was born and it just skipped ahead. Nothing about him seeing her for the first time, any of the firsts they'd have. I am so extremely disappointed. The summary of the story should really be changed, because it's completely misleading. I wouldn't have started reading if I knew that this book is not at all about Minding Frankie.

I'm about *this* close to flouncing, I am so frustrated. Especially if we are forced to spend any more time with this dolt of a social worker. I have 44% left and I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to finish.

---

I did finish, and the story barely went back to Noel and Frankie. Then she brought in this twist I thought was highly unnecessary given the minuscule amount of time we had with the two of them. At least it was wrapped up nicely. Not all of the many, many, MANY storylines did.

It is really hard for me to give this book a rating. For my purposes I think I'd give it two stars because the story was entirely unsatisfying for me - it wasn't what it was billed to be. However, I can clearly see why some people would give it four stars. The writing isn't bad at all. My three biggest complaints was that it jumped scenes and character points of view worse than a soap opera, the American didn't sound American, and the lack of emotion (though it did finally shine through at a couple of points in the book, but not nearly enough). So I'm giving it three stars. I think if she stuck with Frankie and Noel it would have been a four star book.

Overall, it's not a bad read, as long as you go into it knowing that the summary is misleading and this is more of a neighborhood soap opera than a story about a single father. ( )
  OstensiblyA1 | Sep 20, 2013 |
This is another [a:Maeve Binchy|3532|Maeve Binchy|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1206566579p2/3532.jpg] novel where Binchy does a masterful job at showing real life. Yes, there is a bit of drama, but we all have a bit of drama. This is a book where the author makes getting up, going to work, making sure someone is minding the kids seem worthwhile and, even, heroic. This novel celebrates community and shows that you can make a family out of the people around you who care about you whether they are blood relations or not. I think, also, that this book, in a subtle way, reminds us that we have to overcome our childhoods and make our lives the way we want them made not because of what we did or did not have as children. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Binchy remains the queen of spiritual comfort, but this time round she’s stretched interest thin with ups and downs too many and too mild.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Dec 15, 2010)
 

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Maeve Binchyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Binchy, Maevemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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For dear generous Gordon who makes life great every single day.
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Katie Finglas was coming to the end of a tiring day in the salon.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307273563, Hardcover)

Maeve Binchy is back with a tale of joy, heartbreak and hope, about a motherless girl collectively raised by a close-knit Dublin community.

When Noel learns that his terminally ill former flame is pregnant with his child, he agrees to take guardianship of the baby girl once she’s born. But as a single father battling demons of his own, Noel can’t do it alone.

Fortunately, he has a competent, caring network of friends, family and neighbors: Lisa, his unlucky-in-love classmate, who moves in with him to help him care for little Frankie around the clock; his American cousin, Emily, always there with a pep talk; the newly retired Dr. Hat, with more time on his hands than he knows what to do with; Dr. Declan and Fiona and their baby son, Frankie’s first friend; and many eager babysitters, including old friends Signora and Aidan and Frankie’s doting grandparents, Josie and Charles.

But not everyone is pleased with the unconventional arrangement, especially a nosy social worker, Moira, who is convinced that Frankie would be better off in a foster home. Now it’s up to Noel to persuade her that everyone in town has something special to offer when it comes to minding Frankie.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When N?oel learns that his former flame is terminally ill and pregnant with a child she claims is his, he agrees to take care of the baby girl once she's born. But as a recovering alcoholic whose demons are barely under control, he can't do it alone. Luckily, he has an amazing network of family and friends who are ready to help. A tale of joy, heartbreak and hope in a close-knit Dublin community.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

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