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The Return Journey Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Length: 244 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Product Description

From Amazon

The Return Journey is a collection of 14 short stories of life, love, and learning that enables the most harried reader to enjoy a well-told tale in its entirety before checking on the kids or folding the clothes. In the tradition of Binchy's classic tales Circle of Friends and Tara Road, this consummate summer beach book introduces readers not to models of literary and romantic indefectibility, but to folks just like us, who have bad hair days, runs in their hose, and freckles both physical and metaphorical. The title story paints a portrait of the embattled relationship between a mother who left her home in Dunglass, Ireland, and her daughter, who has traveled to Ireland to find her history and finds love, as well. Through weekly correspondence, mother and daughter repair the damage to their relationship, laying to rest ghosts of an earlier mother-daughter relationship gone irrevocably wrong. And Binchy's "Victor and St. Valentine" renews faith that truly romantic men do exist and are often overlooked, their motives suspect in an increasingly self-reliant world. No one can accuse Binchy of overtelling a tale; she has perfected the art of leading her readers to the verge and then allowing them to loose their imaginations as they see fit. A wonderful and thoroughly engaging read. --Alison Trinkle

From Publishers Weekly

Not without reason is Binchy (Evening Class; Circle of Friends) most popular for her novels, as this unimpressive collection of short stories linked by the theme of travel-and-learn indicates. Although the time is now and the place usually Dublin, the writing is dated, dependent on such romantic-comedy movie devices as mistaken identity, switched suitcases, confidante becoming lover, the stranger who upsets all the old balances, the surprise presence of Mum at the restaurant of the out-of-the-way hotel intended for a tryst. The most promising of the batch is the title story, a series of letters between a mother who left Ireland and her daughter, the young woman who has gone there to see the village her mother grew up in. The characters here have depth and secrets not immediately apparent. The conflicts between mother and daughter mirror the conflicts the mother has about her homeland. Unfortunately, the remaining 13 stories touch on formulaic generational and gender misunderstandings. The characters are established early, the predictable plot mechanisms uncoil like the proverbial spring and the conclusions are socked home, often in a chirpy manner.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 415 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (Sept. 4 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000W9160C
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,460 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first started reading this book, I never realized it was one of short stories. As usual Maeve Binchy fleshes out the characters and you can understand very quickly what is going on.
What I like about each of these stories, is that it shows a point of view, of a character at a pin point of time. That pin point of time, is a crossroads. They can opt to continue on, in their well worn rut or they can make decisions that change their lives. These are not earthshattering choices, but ones that define their character.
If you don't want to settle into a book that will take a while to read, and you've never read Maeve Binchy, here is a good taste. I liked it especially well, as when I read it, I had little time available to read, it gave me just enough story to ponder on, each time I read.
Excellent bunch of stories.
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Format: Hardcover
I usually don't like short stories as much as novels, but this book was a wonderful surprise. I loved The Return Journey and highly recommend it! Often short stories seem unsatisfying to me; if I like them, I am frustrated by their stopping too soon. That didn't happen with this book. I found these glimpses into the lives of the various characters to be intriguing and thought-provoking--and just the right length. Somehow Maeve Binchy has provided just enough for the stories to be absolutely satisfying and complete--although you may find yourself lost in your own thoughts afterwards! Each story deals with a journey. If you've ever wondered what human tale lies behind the sad or excited face of a stranger met on the road, or been curious about an unlikely pair of travel companions--you may enjoy this set of stories. I think the book would be just perfect to tuck in a suitcase for a vacation. The stories would also do well on your nighttable to read before bedtime--and then dream of your own trip! If you're the type of person who likes to sit with a cup of tea and daydream next to a sea with "twenty different shades of green and blue"--and wonders about that person over there who is sitting on a rock doing the same: try this book!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Binchy is trying to show us the inevitability of lives that cross, trying to show how each and every encounter affects us in so many ways we will never know them all. Each story in this book leaves you wanting to say "So?", yet your heart knows the answer to that. The stories aren't profound, nor are they even exciting in any way, yet they are more real than our own perspectives on life. If the author is attempting to make us stop a moment and look back on those insignificant small pieces of our past, like the time we talked with that stranger on the airplane, or that man we ran into in the bank who reminded us so much of Dad, or the lady behind the counter at the 7-11 who knows how we like our coffee each day, then these stories succeed in doing just that. Did those encounters help shape who we are today? Maeve Binchy has done a superb job of magnifying the impossible.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Maeve Binchy has an uncanny ability to create believable characters and sketch out a plot in 10-15 pages. These stories each contain an interesting twist or unexpected ending which keep up the interest for the reader. They each have a bit of universal and recognizable truth to them. Binchy shines her brightest in her full-length novels, but her short stories are also well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
"The Return Journey" is a collection of short stories by Maeve Binchy, stories published between 1994 and 2004 as far as I can tell. Keeping the title in mind, they are all tales about travel - people going somewhere, people returning from somewhere, people in the middle of their journey, people just trying to get started. A couple that moved me the most include "The Crossing," in which two women, strangers, chat companionably while on the ferry crossing from Ireland to Liverpool; they tell each other some important details about their family lives and struggles, offer each other (good) advice for coping with their individual situations, and then part when the ferry reaches its destination, never to know what happened in the other woman's life afterwards. And I also very much enjoyed "The Business Trip," in which a young woman who has been in (unrequited, unspoken) love with her boss for 4 years is asked to go on a business trip to London for a week with him; spending time in closer quarters than usual will give her the chance to know him better and express her love, but will she still feel the same as she learns more about him?.... As ever, Binchy has a gentle touch and a lot of compassion in these stories; they are all quite "small" stories but ones that anyone travelling can relate to, and even stay-at-homes will have experienced some of the same situations generally. A treat; I savoured each tale and will look for more of her short-form work in the future.
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Format: Hardcover
The Return Journey was the first book I have read written by the author Maeve Binchy. I did not like this book because it was a bunch of short stories about love, cheating, and other soap opera stuff that I don't like. The one story I liked in the book was The Wrong Suitcase it was about how two people Annie Grant and Alan Green who don't know each other go to London and then they go to baggage claim and pick up their suitcases by looking at the initials A.G that they have had enscribed on them. They each go back back to their hotels and open up the suitcases and find out that it is not theirs'. They each go through the suitcases to try to find the place where the other is staying. They end up finding both personal and professional information. They end up finding where the other is staying and they set a place to exchange them. They exchange them and our amazed how different they look then what they thought from the suitcase. I like this story because it is totally ironic that two strangers who have the same initials and suitcases where on the plane. The one story that reminded of a soap opera was Excitement because Rose who is married and her neighbor Ted who is also married and has kids go off together to have a affair. They each end up running into family, Rose runs into her mother and Ted runs into his wife's brother and his wife but that does not stop them from their excitement.
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