Maeve Binchy delivers a timely and topical tale on the fickle nature of docu-soaps in Quentins.
In an age where everyday people are becoming overnight celebrities via the medium of television, Ella Brady is a documentary filmmaker who wants to bring the tale of the eponymous Dublin restaurant to the screen. Quentin's has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years and has become the meeting point for a lot of characters, including some familiar faces from previous Binchy novels. As Ella makes more and more headway with her documentary, the secrets, betrayals and stories of love that emerge make her question whether or not she wants to bring the tale of Quentin's to the screen after all; especially as she is also forced to confront a devastating dilemma from her own past.
Regarded by many as the true queen of the romantic Irish drama, Binchy has once again produced another fine page-turner that will please her army of loyal fans and hopefully win her many more. She has a real eye for character and exploring the often painful choices people are forced to make in their everyday lives. This is a tale of normal people, ordinary folk and the heartaches that have made them who they are. Fans will welcome the return of some familiar Binchy characters and Ella is a strong, likeable heroine, a woman who, in exploring the lives of these people, is forced to consider some choices she has made in her own life. So make a reservation at Quentin's, sit back and relax--you'll be in very good company. --Jane Warren
From Publishers Weekly
Fans of the bestselling Binchy will be grateful that the basic formula is still intact-decent people pulling through hard times-and that some favorite characters from previous novels reappear: Cathy Scarlet from Scarlet Feather, Nora from Evening Class, Ria from Tara Road and others. When Dubliner Ella Brady's affair with a married financial consultant turns sour-he bilks his clients of their hard-earned money and then hightails it to Spain-she decides to throw herself into something productive: she agrees to help with a documentary about Quentins, a once-modest Dublin restaurant whose increasing success and sophistication over the past 30 years mirrors the changing fortunes of the city itself. Ella collects stories of customers who recall celebrating life's milestones at Quentins. These vignettes (about a man who learns he's to be a grandfather, a girl who finishes school with honors, and other regular folks) are meant to fill out the too-thin tale, but most of them end a little too neatly to be satisfying. Binchy doesn't exactly trade in suspense (can there ever be any doubt that a Binchy heroine will do the right thing? Or that goodness will ultimately be rewarded?), but this novel is more tepid than other works in her oeuvre. Still, readers who love hardworking, honest-living characters with strong values can get their fix here.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.