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Lilac Bus [Kindle Edition]

Maeve Binchy
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: CDN$ 9.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In the first eight interrelated stories of the dozen that comprise her new collection, Binchy ( Circle of Friends ) introduces eight people who travel on a lilac-colored bus from Dublin every Friday night to spend the weekend in their hometown, Rathdoon. Each of the seven passengers and the bus driver is the protagonist of an individual story; taken together, the tales have the cohesion of a novelette. Though these people have known one another for years, they are totally unaware of the compulsions, anxieties, heartaches and dreams of their fellow travelers. As is gradually revealed, everyone on the bus has a secret; thus the stories have the pull of taffy: having finished one, the reader is hooked on discovering the essence of yet another protagonist's existence. Each story delivers a kick of surprise--and often more than one--as Binchy peels back the layers of her characters' lives with empathy, compassion and not a little humor. In the process, the tales coalesce to portray the social order of Rathdoon. The last four stories are set in Dublin, with a new, equally engrossing cast. Although the pieces differ widely in social setting and circumstance, each features a woman who learns the strength of her mettle through adversity. This gallery of memorable characters again confirms Binchy as a beguiling raconteur. BOMC featured selection.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Two collections of stories, "The Lilac Bus" and "Dublin 4," make up Binchy's latest book, a showcase for her marvelous storytelling ability. "The Lilac Bus" consists of eight connected stories, each one a revealing portrait of a Dublin worker who goes home to the outlying town of Rathdoon each weekend in Tom Fitzgerald's minibus. Torn between the anonymous independence of Dublin and the claustrophobic safety of Rathdoon, many characters lead secretive double lives: Dee has a married lover, Rupert is gay, Kev is a thief. The more fully realized stories in "Dublin 4" have only their Dublin setting in common. Hard hitters dealing with alcoholism, unwed pregnancy, and an unfaithful husband are lightened by the humorous "Flat in Ringsend" about a young girl's stab at independence in her first flat. While not as completely satisfying as Binchy novels ( Circle of Friends, LJ 12/90), this is absorbing, entertaining reading with characters to care about. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/1/91.
- Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 451 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New Ed edition (Sept. 30 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041OT8WM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,059 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maeve makes anything, anyone interesting. Oct. 21 2012
By Carolyn
I fell in love with Maeve Binchy's person-to-person conversation in "Aches & Pains" and see the brilliance of her fiction in "The Lilac Bus", 1984. We think a novel needs extreme action, ghosts, treasure, or crime to attract a reader. No. The supremely gifted Maeve, rest her soul, pulls us in with 8 average people! The inner thoughts and dialogue of everyday folks are unbelievably interesting.

"The Lilac Bus" is a van that takes the driver and 7 other Rathdoon neighbours home from Dublin. We are shown one week-end from each perspective: what the work day was like before they boarded, their receptions at home, and a little personal history is filled in. They pass each another in their Irish town, with varied reasons behind their behaviour. You realize throughout, like in Maeve's "Dublin 4"; that when we know what a person is thinking behind the scenes; it is easy to develop compassion. Most of them improve something that is rewarding in this small space of time. I'd love another ride, to see them interact after the various resolutions they would carry back to Dublin.

Our irreplaceable author has tapped into the most recognizable musings of family life and universal likelihood of relating to them, makes them satisfying to read. This one-of-a-kind writer has an astounding talent for drawing you to the most normal subjects in the world. All of her work defies the parameters of what should make a novel enthralling; what keeps us turning pages. I like a good haunted house and secrets to decipher. I seldom touch general fiction. Maeve is a unique blessing to the heritage of literature, who surpasses expectation and genre. Every time I finish any of her books, I feel like I've received and experienced a gift. I will surely read them all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Storytelling. Aug. 22 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have, to my surprise, found some of Binchy's books to be a little sketchy. After reading Tara Road, I wondered if perhaps that book had been authored by a distant cousin or mayhap a complete stranger to Binchy's talent. I would not have recognized the author of that book to be the same artist who created The Lilac Bus. This is great storytelling. Each vignette represents a short period in the life of one of the characters. Since each character has their own voice in their own story and then is also "remembered" by the other characters in _their_ stories, you walk away from this novel feeling as if you had been to visit for a weekend. Many scenes are shared by the characters so you are able to experience many moments through different pairs of eyes each time for a deep, rich and very compelling experience.
This is probably my favorite Binchy novel along with Evening Class. I will hope for more like it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful series of character sketches May 27 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you're expecting a novel like Echoes or Tara Road, don't buy this book. If, on the other hand, you admire Maeve Binchy's ability to tell you all about a character's life, personality, interests and dreams in a few pages, then this is the book for you. The Lilac Bus is a series of 'postcards' or brief character sketches of a number of different people, all of whom travel home from Dublin each Friday evening on the same bus. Each has their own preoccupations and concerns, and Binchy manages to give us some fascinating insights into not only the individuals here, but into the tight little society to where they're travelling, with its own mores and habits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Trip Across Ireland like the Lonely Planet! Jan. 9 2000
Format:Audio Cassette
A vicarious adventure riding the Lilac Bus back and forth across Ireland, only the reader gets to crawl inside the lives of each of the passengers. Maeve Binchy's insights and exquisite writing are perfectly matched with Kate Binchy's melodious Irish tones. You will feel like you know these people and that the journey has been a special vacation. This story is the neatly crafted -- though it does not wrap every thing up in a nice tidy package at the end (that never really happens in real life)! Human, full of hope, humor, faith and caring, but if you want a thriller, look elsewhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars These are people I'd like to live next door to. April 8 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you want Ireland without actually getting on a crowded Aer Lingus flight and going there, this book will give it to you. If you want to meet the treasures of the Celtic race without all the rain and the pub smoke, try dipping into The Lilac Bus. These are the real people of Ireland: funny, stingy, generous, troubled, but always interesting. Maeve Binchy may have just gone around her own home town and described the average inhabitants. You'll feel like you've gone and stayed with Binchy for a week or so and met all her fascinating neighbors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and unfinished June 15 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved "Evening Class". I enjoyed "Light a Penny Candle". Then I read "The Lilac Bus". It was very disappointing because it seemed incomplete and unfinished. For a writer who tied up all loose ends as carefully as Maeve Binchy did with the characters of "Evening Class", why does she leave the chartered bus travelers' histories just twisting in the wind? And then she follows this with several short stories that also appear to have no conclusions--I don't get it. I felt cheated.
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2.0 out of 5 stars What happened?!? Jan. 20 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first experience with Maeve Binchy, and was almost my last. I was so angry when I finished the book! Ms. Binchy develops several characters separately (and very nicely) in different chapters and then leaves the reader hanging as to what the purpose of the book was. If you must, read the book as if it were a collection short stories and skip the useless last chapter.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars my favourite story teller
As always, my favourite story teller.
Published 2 months ago by Wildwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good story
Published 13 months ago by Ariane Bruendl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always a good read by Maeve Binchy
Published 15 months ago by Helen
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but too short
It was good but too short. It seemed the book ended before anything got sorted. I felt like there should have been more.
Published 18 months ago by Shannon Trimper
3.0 out of 5 stars Slice of 1980s Life in Ireland
"The Lilac Bus," by Maeve Binchy, weaves the stories of eight people, seven of them who take a lilac-coloured minivan home to their tiny village every weekend from Dublin, and the... Read more
Published on July 28 2012 by Alison S. Coad
4.0 out of 5 stars Eight strangers on a bus
Every Friday Tom Fitzgerald loads up his lilac-colored bus with 7 passengers that he takes from Dublin to Rathdoon. Read more
Published on April 2 2002 by Karen Potts
1.0 out of 5 stars Maeve leaves you hanging, and not in a good way
I want to start off by saying that I have enjoyed most of Maeve's books (my favorites being Tara Road, Evening Class and The Glass Lake), but this one I did not. Read more
Published on March 27 2001 by Michelle Clancy
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
This is the first Binchy book that I have read. I was very disappointed and unable to finish it. Expecting a story I got instead a bunch of character sketches, the only connection... Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2000 by Sahara
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but where's the excitement?
Yes, I enjoyed The Lilac Bus very much indeed, but I am only awarding it four stars because there were no murders. Read more
Published on Sept. 23 1999
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