The Return Journey

by Maeve Binchy

Hardcover, 1998

Call number




Delacorte Press (1998), Edition: First Edition, 224 pages


Fiction. Literature. Short Stories. HTML:In this extraordinary collection of stories, New York Times bestselling author Maeve Binchy once again reveals her incomparable understanding of matters of the heart with powerfully compelling stories of love, loss, revelation, and reconciliation. A secretary's silent passion for her boss meets the acid test on a business trip. . . . A man and a woman's mutual disdain at first sight shows how deceptive appearances can be. . . . An insecure wife clings to the illusion of order, only to discover chaos at the hands of a house sitter who opens the wrong doors. . . . A pair of star-crossed travelers take each other's bags, and then learn that when you unlock a stranger's suitcase, you enter a stranger's life. In their company are many more, whose poignant, ironic, often humorous stories�??unforgettable slices of life�??make up The Return Journey, a spellbinding trip into the human… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member pdxwoman
Quick easy read; more character sketches than short stories. No surprises, but pleasant afternoon fodder.

3 stars: Read once / Recommend selectively
LibraryThing member Awfki
A light, pleasant book full of light, pleasant stories. The stories frequently had a romantic theme. It was very pleasant.
LibraryThing member terian
Very disappointed with these short stories just like they had been written for a magazine and then put into a book form to get more money !
LibraryThing member sexy_librarian
I didn't know what to expect when I picked this up, especially that it was a collection of short stories, which I usually avoid. As the stories start out with letters between mother and daughter, I was excited to see what would happen with them, only to turn the page and find a new story, which
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disappointed me, but I was quickly reading the next short story. Perhaps she is no Hemingway, but the stories are brief insights into human character, revolving around the theme of vacations and romance, lost and gained. They are easy reads, but I think that some people may be able to relate to many of the characters. The writing is simple and straightforward, which I appreciate. It is a good book to have by your bed, if you're the type that likes to read before bed, but don't have enough time to try to integrate yourself into a long novel.
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LibraryThing member PennyAnne
A book of short stories about love and relationships. Not much to say - light, easy to read, often charming.
LibraryThing member MarysGirl
Lovely interlude. A collection of short stories about love and relationships. Binchy knows how to touch the heart and write about it.
LibraryThing member moonshineandrosefire
This is a collection of short stories in which Maeve Binchy introduces us to sons, brothers, fathers, mothers, sisters and lovers. She looks at the relationships and the affect of love on her characters. I have to say that although I usually love Maeve Binchy as an author and am definitely willing
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to give anything she has written a fighting chance to take me away; I found this particular book lacking in parts.

I had read this book before several years ago and of course had forgotten what it was like. I will definitely still read Maeve Binchy again but, in my opinion, this was a weak book. I give it a C!
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LibraryThing member bjmitch
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member jessicariddoch
was surprised to find that this was a collection of short stories. This author who I see an a writer of long feeling peaces does not seem to be one who would do well in this form. I was pleasently surprised. While in many ways the short stories are lacking in story each of them is a small
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LibraryThing member nancynova
short essays, most that I've read elsewhere
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Read for a challenge (Irish author"). Sweet short stories, ranging from horehound (intense) to fudge (rich) to cotton candy (fluff), so to speak. The best ones were the ones that had a little bit of the bitter, or the not-quite-happy ending."
LibraryThing member ElizabethCromb
Short stories on relationships of different kinds and human interactions.
LibraryThing member rosalita
A collection of short stories, unconnected to each other, about the usual topics Binchy writes about — as the blurb puts it, "matters of the heart with powerfully compelling stories of love, loss, revelation and reconciliation." I'm not sure about "powerful" but the rest tracks pretty well. Too
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many of the stories have a sort of O. Henry twist that is cute the first time and pales in subsequent usage.

I really enjoy Binchy's writing but I don't think short stories are her milieu. She's much better in the sprawling multi-generational sagas of her early career, like Circle of Friends or Firefly Summer, or the later interconnected novels set in Dublin, like Tara Road or Quentins. A shorter format just doesn't give Binchy room to work her gentle magic, which thrives when she's giving us multiple points of view across people and time.
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