‘Heart and Soul’ by Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy (gaelic name pronounced Mave), has always been one of my favourite authors. I’ve read all but two of her books now. She was a natural story-teller and will be missed. Sadly, Binchy died last month and this post is a tribute to her writing.

Maeve Binchy in Memoriam

If you’ve read one of her books, you’ve probably read more. She has that effect on people. When my daughter learned I would be posting on Maeve Binchy, she said that as a little girl she picked up and tried to read a Binchy just because I was reading so many of her books, but she was a little bored with it at the time. Perhaps she should try again!

Binchy’s books are mostly set in Ireland and although her plots can be interesting enough, her books are mostly character driven and focus on small town issues and relationships. They are books about real people. And whenever reading Binchy books I felt like I could recognize her characters if I met them on the street. However, what has always intrigued me about her writing, is that she gives you that familiarity without a lot of description.  In my opinion, that is her genius and is most evident in her short stories. Even though I am not a big short story fan, I loved her short story collections because it took less than a page to draw me in.

‘Heart and Soul’ was an enjoyable read. The fun thing for Binchy fans is that in this book she brings in a whole host of characters from several of her other books. It feels like meeting up with old friends or finding them on Facebook and discovering what they are up to these days. And there are some excellent heart healthy recipes for fish! The story revolves around a heart clinic annexed to the hospital to support heart attack victims and help them adjust to their “new normal” with guidance about lifestyle, food, exercise, and how to cope emotionally.

Even though Maeve Binchy will be sadly missed, there is still one more book being published soon! She was in the final stages of a book when she died. ‘A Week in Winter’ will be coming out in November.

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