In all my hundreds of years of reading everything in sight, I had never read a Maeve Binchy. I know it's unbelievable but there you are. I had her in my mind, just never took the time.
Last week I was looking for a short read to fit in between books for promised reviews. My box of books from friends yielded The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy, a short paperback perfect for the amount of time I had. It turned out to be a little book of short stories, all related to travel in some way.
Short stories and I have been total strangers for many years. I stopped reading them entirely during the period of time when they were more like scenes. They had no beginning, middle or ending, nor did they seem to serve any purpose at all. I was never satisfied with them, and felt they were a waste of my valuable reading time, so I just stopped.
Apparently short stories have changed somewhat in the meantime. Although these Binchy stories are more like character studies, there is an actual plot. I am in awe of Binchy's ability to make interesting characters come alive in a few paragraphs. I'm still not sold on short stories, however, I can say I really enjoyed the people and each of the little stories here.