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The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy
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The Return Journey (1998)

by Maeve Binchy

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One of the things I like about [a:Maeve Binchy|3532|Maeve Binchy|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1206566579p2/3532.jpg] is her quirkiness. In her novels, she usually has time to work the quirkiness out so readers are not left with a strange feeling of incompleteness. I enjoyed this collection of short stories, but found that the quirkiness kind of overwhelmed the story. In their own way, the stories were spare, but the spareness combined with the quirkiness left me feeling a bit odd. I enjoyed the short stories, because they are different and I was so relieved to get out of my campaign to improve myself for a minute that I found it sheer pleasure to read for enjoyment. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
was surprised to find that this was a collection of short stories. This author who I see an a writer of long feeling peaces does not seem to be one who would do well in this form. I was pleasently surprised. While in many ways the short stories are lacking in story each of them is a small masterpiece. ( )
  jessicariddoch | Jul 10, 2013 |
The Return Journey is a collection of short stories by Maeve Binchy, stories published between 1994 and 2004 as far as I can tell. Keeping the title in mind, they are all tales about travel - people going somewhere, people returning from somewhere, people in the middle of their journey, people just trying to get started. A couple that moved me the most include "The Crossing," in which two women, strangers, chat companionably while on the ferry crossing from Ireland to Liverpool; they tell each other some important details about their family lives and struggles, offer each other (good) advice for coping with their individual situations, and then part when the ferry reaches its destination, never to know what happened in the other woman's life afterwards. And I also very much enjoyed "The Business Trip," in which a young woman who has been in (unrequited, unspoken) love with her boss for 4 years is asked to go on a business trip to London for a week with him; spending time in closer quarters than usual will give her the chance to know him better and express her love, but will she still feel the same as she learns more about him?.... As ever, Binchy has a gentle touch and a lot of compassion in these stories; they are all quite "small" stories but ones that anyone travelling can relate to, and even stay-at-homes will have experienced some of the same situations generally. A treat; I savoured each tale and will look for more of her short-form work in the future. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Feb 16, 2013 |
In all my hundreds of years of reading everything in sight, I had never read a Maeve Binchy. I know it's unbelievable but there you are. I had her in my mind, just never took the time.

Last week I was looking for a short read to fit in between books for promised reviews. My box of books from friends yielded The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy, a short paperback perfect for the amount of time I had. It turned out to be a little book of short stories, all related to travel in some way.

Short stories and I have been total strangers for many years. I stopped reading them entirely during the period of time when they were more like scenes. They had no beginning, middle or ending, nor did they seem to serve any purpose at all. I was never satisfied with them, and felt they were a waste of my valuable reading time, so I just stopped.

Apparently short stories have changed somewhat in the meantime. Although these Binchy stories are more like character studies, there is an actual plot. I am in awe of Binchy's ability to make interesting characters come alive in a few paragraphs. I'm still not sold on short stories, however, I can say I really enjoyed the people and each of the little stories here. ( )
  bjmitch | Sep 10, 2012 |
Lovely interlude. A collection of short stories about love and relationships. Binchy knows how to touch the heart and write about it. ( )
  MarysGirl | Mar 21, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385341792, Paperback)

The Return Journey is a collection of 14 short stories of life, love, and learning that enables the most harried reader to enjoy a well-told tale in its entirety before checking on the kids or folding the clothes. In the tradition of Binchy's classic tales Circle of Friends and Tara Road, this consummate summer beach book introduces readers not to models of literary and romantic indefectibility, but to folks just like us, who have bad hair days, runs in their hose, and freckles both physical and metaphorical. The title story paints a portrait of the embattled relationship between a mother who left her home in Dunglass, Ireland, and her daughter, who has traveled to Ireland to find her history and finds love, as well. Through weekly correspondence, mother and daughter repair the damage to their relationship, laying to rest ghosts of an earlier mother-daughter relationship gone irrevocably wrong. And Binchy's "Victor and St. Valentine" renews faith that truly romantic men do exist and are often overlooked, their motives suspect in an increasingly self-reliant world. No one can accuse Binchy of overtelling a tale; she has perfected the art of leading her readers to the verge and then allowing them to loose their imaginations as they see fit. A wonderful and thoroughly engaging read. --Alison Trinkle

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:48 -0400)

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A collection of stories set in Ireland. In one, a man and a woman switch suitcases by accident at an airport, then meet again, having read each other's most intimate thoughts.

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