This book is decidedly cozy. I am not saying that as a bad thing, not remotely. What saves it is that it is not saccharine. Cozy, but not sickly sweet. Neither is it a challenging read, nor are there ideas that will occupy your brain for days, just a belief that taking time for yourself, in pleasant surroundings, surrounded by people who genuinely like people and take care of each other, in a gorgeous setting, is good for the soul.
It is not hard to convince me of this.
while there's nothing earthshattering here, it was pleasant to take a
break in Maeve Binchy's world for a few hours. Chicky, the lead
character, left the small town of Stoneybridge in Ireland when a young
woman, for the wilds of New York. Twenty-odd years later, she returns to
buy the local great house and turn it into a hotel. Along the way, she
takes her niece under her wing, as well as the ne'er-do-well son of one
of her school friends, who finds family and redemption working on
something he cares about.
This is a theme.
And then they
open for customers, and a young woman shows up with her very hostile
potential mother-in-law, a pair of doctors with ghosts behind their
eyes, an aging movie star, an unhappy Swedish accountant, an older
couple who specialize in winning contests, a cranky retired school
principal, and a young woman who sees more than she ought to. With one
exception, they each find some measure of peace in Stoneybridge.
you'll know from this description if you'll like the book. Stoneybridge
is not where I'd want to spend the majority of my literary time - I'd
grow awfully bored. But as a respite, a week in winter to holiday in
lovely surroundings, it is well written, and the stories are comforting
but not cloying.