In this Christmas treasury of fourteen special stories, Ameve Binchy weaves her story-telling magic again, earning the praise 'Maeve's a marvel' (The Age) Aboard a plane bound for Australia, in 'Travelling hopefully', two strangers find themselves sharing their fears and laughing each other into courage; for Nick and Jane in 'The Christmas ...Read MoreIn this Christmas treasury of fourteen special stories, Ameve Binchy weaves her story-telling magic again, earning the praise 'Maeve's a marvel' (The Age) Aboard a plane bound for Australia, in 'Travelling hopefully', two strangers find themselves sharing their fears and laughing each other into courage; for Nick and Jane in 'The Christmas barramundi', meeting at the Sydney Fish Markets was a perfect introduction...what could go wrong?; fourteen-year-old Orla decides to record Christmas Day with her new Polaroid camera in 'The ten snaps of Christmas' but no-one is prepared for what she sees; and Ethel, in the title story, is assured by her family that this year the usual massive Christmas preparations won't be left up to her, that this year it will be different. Set in Australia and around the world, these delightful stories bring us closer to the families, friends, lovers and the lonely of Binchy's imagination, drawing us into their lives with her usual wisdom and generosity. After reading This Year It Will Be Different, you'll want to visit them all over again.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 1996-08-26 That Binchy (Circle of Friends) would choose to enter the Christmas market should not be a surprise. Her wide audience enjoys the warmth of her fiction, the emphasis on the power of love to transform ordinary livesæeven as she acknowledges that for some people, love is elusive or the prelude to frustration and heartbreak. Here she presents 15 short stories that take place during the holiday season; all display her deft rendering of family relationships and the stresses of contemporary life. Unfortunately, however, these tales are formulaic and superficial. We meet women unable to spend Christmas with their married men, children from broken homes, aged parents for whom Christmas is an ordeal rather than a pleasure, couples trying to resolve the past, lonely souls looking for a future. Several stories feature second wives whose husbands are oblivious to the machinations of their (always beautiful but selfish) first spouses. While the characters and their predicaments are potentially interesting, as soon as her narratives begin to develop, Binchy catapults forward to disappointingly simplistic endings. Readers will yearn for more: more character development, more detail, less fast-forwarding, fewer perky or maudlin conclusions. These tales are fine for a fast read during a busy season, but many will wish that Binchy had instead developed one of them into a novel that would do justice to her characters and themes. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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