Maeve Binchy, the much beloved Irish author, has died at 72 following a short illness. Binchy was the author of 15 novels and ten short stories collections. She sold more than 40 million copies of her books worldwide. In North America Binchy may have been best known for Circle of Friends, which was adapted into a movie in 1995 starring Minnie Driver and Chris O'Donnell.
I read my first Maeve Binchy novel shortly after I finished college and I understood why her books were so loved. Reading a Maeve Binchy novels was like stepping into a kitchen where warmth and friendship were waiting for you. And tea. Reading one of Binchy's books always made me crave tea. I loved how in many of her books you'd find characters and locations from her previous novels make an appearance. Stumbling upon characters like this always felt like running into an old friend that you didn't expect to see again. They felt like special treats to her regular readers.
Minding Frankie, Binchy's last novel, was released in 2010, and some people questioned if it would be her last. Nan, from Letters From a Farm Hill, read the novel with a sense of sadness.
"I've finished the latest Maeve Binchy book, and I'm sad I don't have another one to go on to. I am especially sad because it felt like Minding Frankie might be the last visit with these Dubliners. The reader is now all caught up with their stories. People have married, had children, begun careers, moved away, and died."
Binchy allowed us to say goodbye to some of her much beloved characters and I thank her for that. And now it's our turn to say goodbye to Maeve.
Monica Heck offers a tribute on her blog.
"It’s with great sadness that I learned of the passing of one of my favourite authors, the wonderful Maeve Binchy with the pen of gold. Her ability to capture the quirkiness of humans remained untouched by anyone who ever tried to follow in her footsteps."
Twitter soon filled with tributes to her and to her work.
Maeve Binchy was a gregarious, larger than life, ebullient recorder of human foibles and wonderment. I'm taking a drink to her.
So sad to hear that Maeve Binchy has died. #RIPMaeveBinchy She was genuinely loved by so many readers worldwide.
News of Maeve Binchy's death this evening has made me more homesick than I've been in a long time. She was a wonder. RIP, lovely Maeve
Sitting in NYC reading through the tributes to Maeve Binchy on my timeline. Met her just once at an @ncirl event, a true lady.
RIP Maeve Binchy, a lady who wrote about girls with big dreams, for girls with big dreams.
Thank you Maeve. Rest in peace.
Do you have a favourite Maeve Binchy novel?
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