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Evening Class [Kindle Edition]

Maeve Binchy
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Amazon

Maeve Binchy can always be counted on to spin an involving tale about ordinary people that brings out the extraordinary in everyone. In Evening Class, Binchy zooms in on the working-class of Dublin. Schoolteacher Aidan Dunne organizes an evening class in Italian with the help of Nora O'Donoghue, an Irishwoman returning home after 26 years in Sicily. When the somewhat squashed-by-life denizens of the surrounding neighborhood take the unexpected step of enrolling in the class, they find their lives transformed.

Binchy tells her story from the viewpoints of eight different characters and rewards both them and her readers with happy endings after the requisite rocky road. Reading a novel by Maeve Binchy is like catching up with old friends--you know everything will turn out fine in the end, but you're still interested in how things get that way.

From School Library Journal

YA. Aidan Dunne, a middle-aged Latin teacher, has lost out on his bid to become headmaster of his Dublin school. Lonely and estranged from his family, he dreams of returning to Italy, where he had spent several holidays as a young man. Aidan is given the opportunity to start a program of evening classes at the school, and to his delight, Signora appears and offers herself as a teacher of Italian language and culture. Signora is a native Dubliner who followed her Italian lover to Sicily 20 years earlier, knowing he would not marry her, but living for the times he could slip away from his wife and family. His sudden death has brought her home. Her enthusiasm and energy attract students of all ages to her class, and the novel is their story, as well as hers and Aidan Dunne's. Relationships between the young students and their parents, and the relationships that develop among the students in the class are vividly portrayed. The climax of the book, a class trip to Italy, involves a threat of murder, a chance for Signora to return to Sicily, and the opportunity for several of the students to demonstrate their resourcefulness as well as their language skills. As with Circle of Friends, Binchy brings a diverse group of characters together and draws readers into their lives. YAs will identify with these people and their struggles to find independence, love, and self-respect.?Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1230 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (Sept. 4 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000Q9IMG4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best Dec 3 2001
By nath
I am a huge Maeve Binchy fan! I have read "Tara Road," "Circle of Friends" and "The Glass Lake" with much delight. Thus, I was a little disappointed when I picked up Binchy's "Evening Class."
I loved the other Binchy books because, in my opinion, the author excelled at drawing me into the lifes of a handful of interesting characters. In her other novels, Binchy manages to let her characters grow and evolve throughout the book. The reader is permitted the rare pleasure of watching Binchy's subjects evolve throughout the book and to become all too familiar with them. Binchy usually does this so well that, by the end, you feel as though you personally know these people you have read about for pages and pages.
This was not the case in "The Evening Class." In this book, Binchy has chosen a different format. She describes too many characters in too short a book. It almost reads like a compilation of over-edited and unfinished short stories. Just when you feel you have gotten to know a certain character and begin to care about him/her and his/her life, Binchy rudely aborts that particular story line, just to throw you into another one...
To be sure, each of the characters (with very few exceptions - notably one of the main protagonists (Signora)) seem true to life and interesting to read about. I wish Binchy had chosen to concentrate on only a couple of these characters and delved deeper into their lives and allowed them to grow and evolve. Instead, she piles more and more characters on top of one another. This to me created an unsatisfying read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
(Dear Amazon, This book needs more than five stars. Thank you.)
This wonderful, heartwarming story revolves around an evening class and its students. Maeve Binchy does an outstanding job of portraying each character and how their lives weave in and out and connect like the most beautiful of tapestries.
I simply do not have the words to describe this book. I liked every single character. Maeve Binchy did a fantastic job - even the worst person had some redeeming qualities, but not so much that the book was nauseating and syrupy.
The members of the class form a community. They might not have met, given their different walks of life, if not for the class. The interactions the people had with one another brought out the best in all of them, and the story was an absolute joy.
As I said, I simply cannot express how great this book is. If you are looking for something that will make you feel good, to maybe help you appreciate others, perhaps to cheer you up, you will enjoy this book. It was worth the money, and I'm glad it's in my family's library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read! June 8 2001
Aiden Dunne is a Latin professor at Mountainview College, a less-than-fashionable school in a poor part of Dublin. Signora, a woman with a melancholy past has moved back to Dublin after living in Sicily for many years. They share a love of Italy, and circumstances put them together in planning an evening class of Italian. They fear that there will not be enough participants but 30 members show up for class and are enchanted enough with the hands-on teaching style of Signora that they stay for the duration and then have a wonderful adventure at the end of the class. Binchy writes each chapter from the point of view of a class member and cleverly intertwines the characters into a fascinating story. She makes us care about each person and writes a book which I hated to see end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Binchy To Start With Dec 8 2000
First, my bias: I plan to name my unborn children after Maeve Binchy out of love, respect, and appreciation for her work. Now with that said, "Evening Class" is her finest hour. If you have gotten this far down the review list then you already know Binchy can create characters in a simply complex way like no other writter of her sort. However, if you are just learning of her you may be overwhelmed by the amount of good works she has available and don't know where to start. "Evening Class" is just the place. An engagingly superb read, "Evening Class" will draw you in to the writing force that is Maeve Binchy.
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By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
My mother recently visited me and left Maeve Binchy's novel, "Evening Class," for me to read, and I'm very glad she did as she's not an author I've read before. "Evening Class"is set in Dublin and is essentially a collection of inter-related stories about a group of people who come together to take a course in Italian. The glue that holds together all of these people is Signora, the teacher who had spent 26 years in Sicily before returning home to Ireland following the death of the love of her life, but each of the characters has a deeper and more complicated life than appears to be the case initially. For instance, Fran and Kathy are the eldest and youngest sisters of a large family - or are they? Lou seems completely out of place in the course, but he has a surprising reason for being there. Connie is the wealthy lady who is hiding a lifetime of artifice and scandal.... And so on, and so on. I very much enjoyed this collection of character studies; although Binchy's writing seems to be very gentle and sweet, there are shocking truths revealed by each character as the reader gets to know them better, and one ends up with a feeling of rich satisfaction at the complex nature of life and of humanity. Recommended, and I'm definitely planning to read more of this marvelous writer!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read good story
Many characters and their separate stories who are connected through their Italian class. Easy to read and enjoyable. One of Maeve Binchy's best.
Published 21 months ago by Krystal
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites
One of my favourites of Maeve Binchy's collection. This and Quentins are my two favourite books. Heartwrenching love story and travel guide all in one... Read more
Published on March 24 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A treat- light,sweet, somewhat guilty pleasure
This is warm and somewhat simple, very predictable read. The characters are many and their relationships take curious and quirky twists and turns. Read more
Published on June 21 2003 by Beth Huntington
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read
The first Maeve Binvy book I read was "Scarlett Feather" which I found a bit difficult to get into but I was determined to find out what all the "talk" was... Read more
Published on April 26 2002 by Deanna Hockey
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Binchy's best.
Great literature it's not -- but a heart-warming tale, set authentically in Irish culture with all its complexities of class. Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2002 by Maureen
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this one
This is the first of many novels I started reading a few years ago and it is honestly one of the most enjoyable reads I've had. It was so hard to put the book down.
Published on Jan. 29 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked the way all the parts got together
even though I have to say there are many mistakes in the Italian words used in the book (which is about an Italian evening class)and that there are too many stereo-types about... Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting
This is the first Maeve Binchy book I have read. I had hesitated before because I don't have any particular interest in Ireland or Irish history, but now that I have read one of... Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2001 by Miriam
2.0 out of 5 stars Binchy's WORST...
This was the second Binchy novel I read (I have since read them all) and have noticed a pattern. Binchy's books, as one reviewer pointed out, are either wonderful or horrible. Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm and Beguiling
This was my first Maeve Binchy novel, and as someone who is always looking for that rare book that is both entertaining and intelligently written, I was delighted by this one. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2001
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