28 July 2010

The Return Journey


By Maeve Binchy
Publishing history:
Delacorte Press hardcover edition published March 1998
Dell mass market edition published June 1999
Dell Trade paperback edition / June 2007

The good thing about short stories is that if you don't like them, they are finished quickly. The bad thing about short stories is that if you do like them, they are finished quickly. The short stories in this book are perfect; they end in a satisfactory place, but you always want to know just a tiny bit more about the characters.

"The Home Sitter" tells of a couple who hire Allie to house-sit for a few months while they are away. The husband is besotted with Allie, which brings out feelings of insecurity in the wife who immediately concludes the two will have an affair. To make matters worse, they return many months later to find Allie has befriended every neighbour, something the couple has never done.

In "Package Tour" friends Shane and Moya spend many months planning a trip together. A romance slowly simmers but, as the departure date nears, Shane and Moya discover that the choice of luggage and how one packs can make or break a relationship.

"Cross Lines" is a story of travellers who judge each other by how they are dressed, but change their initial impressions after being seated together on the plane.

Binchy writes her characters as real human beings with believable story lines. As always, her stories are a treat to read and easy to recommend.

1 comment:

Mary said...

This sounds like a great Sunday read. I'm going looking for it. Thanks for the review.