Book Review: A Few of the Girls

A Few of the Girls
Published By: Orion
Publication Date: September 2015
Page Count: 404
Source: Library
Adult - Short Story Anthology

For me the loss of Maeve Binchy was a difficult one. Authors I have grown to love through their words often feel like old friends and when one of them passes away, I find it difficult to accept that their words are now limited. I have been slowly working my way through all of Binchy's works. I wanted to read old favorites and experience titles that were new to me.

This collection of short stories focuses on female characters that lived in Binchy's vivid imagination but never made it into novels of their own. It focuses on friendships, love, marriage, heartbreak, relatives, work, and holidays. I found my favorite segments were the Friends and Enemies section and the Holidays section. I found my least favorite section to be Love and Marriage.

A Few of the Girls was posted after Binchy's death, so I am not sure if she would have developed these characters further if given time or why she may have abandoned their stories in the first place. I found this was a great read when I just wanted a quick dip into fiction. I wasn't a fan of all 36 stories, but I did enjoy the majority of them. I wish that Binchy had been able to flesh these out a bit more.

One Last Gripe: Some of the stories were dark and depressing. I missed the air of hope and warmth Binchy novels typically conjure for me.

Favorite Thing About This Book: Exploring themes that impact women

First Sentence: When they were young, they went to school together, their schoolbags on their backs, and their mothers smiled at them.

Maeve Binchy’s best-selling novels not only tell wonderful stories, they also show that while times change, people often remain the same: they fall in love, sometimes unsuitably; they have hopes and dreams; they have deep, long-standing friendships, and others that fall apart. From her earliest writing to her most recent, Maeve’s work has included wonderfully nostalgic pieces and also sharp, often witty writing that is insightful and topical. But at the heart of all Maeve’s fiction are the people and their relationships with each other. A Few of the Girls is a glorious collection of the very best of her writing, full of the warmth, charm, and humor that has always been essentially Maeve.