Author(s): Maeve BinchyDownload
Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant? Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and times when it seemed as if it must close in failure. But as Ella uncovers more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to wonder whether some secrets should be kept that way… With Quentins, Maeve Binchy follows her bestselling Scarlet Feather with a new book that delivers the hallmark storytelling that has kept millions of her readers happy for more than twenty years.
Some Reviews: 893 in Goodreads.com
It is a testament to the way Maeve Binchy builds her characters that I would have read this book three times, despite having little respect for the main character, Ella. But so many other characters are compelling, even in short descriptions. And many from her previous novels are making encore appearances.
Synopsis: Ella Brady is an only child, born to parents late in their lives. She is cherished but unspoiled, and grows into a fine young woman with a great relationship with her family. A charmed life, until she falls hard for a married man, Don Richardson. She believes him that his marriage is dead, they stay in it for appearances, and he and his wife have an understanding.
Don is a charmer, who soon gives advice to Ella’s father, who is also a financial advisor. Until Don leaves the country with his clients’ money, and some of Ella’s father’s clients as well. Many people lose their live savings, and Tim Brady is humiliated and ruined. The Brady’s move into their garden shed and rent out there house to make money.
Oddly, Don left his laptop with Ella while frazzled and fleeing. And this is the part that is so annoying: this seemingly sensible girl, whom everyone still respects, protects the laptop that has all the financial secrets. Now this is a classic Binchy novel, so of course Ella will eventually do the right thing and there will be a happy ending, but I could not respect this stupid girl. Most of her motivations make no sense.
There’s lots of other subplots, including Ella working with friends to do a documentary on the restaurant Quentins. That part was far more interesting to me.
I enjoyed this book, set mostly in Dublin, which is why I chose to read it. I also have enjoyed other books by the author, Maeve Binchy.
This story eventually centered around a restaurant named Quentins, without the apostrophe, which is explained in the book. There were a couple stories which sucked you in then left you while Binchy moved on to another story. In the end, they all came back together.
At one point, I was afraid I was going to see a story where a woman would be foolish over a man, being willing to do anything to keep him. I was glad to see most of the women in this book ended up being strong happy women.
The only reason I did not give this a 5-star rating is that there were times when the stories switched around that I had to stop and figure out who someone was. This was a book that I probably should have written down characters to keep track of them.
I did enjoy the different stories….most of the stories did have a commonality that love brought people together in some way. It might have taken a while, in some cases, but there was a love that found its way into the lives of the people in the stories.
The characters were developed enough that you definitely had emotional connections to them. You might not trust some or have total trust; you might love some of the charaters; you might feel sorry for some; you might feel hopeful for some. However you feel, you will have a connection to these people.
I feel that Maeve Binchy should be a genre… She has a typical style of writing like.. completely unique!
How does she do it ? Include the complete life story of so many different characters in just one book! I mean in this book there were more than 6 – 7 characters that I knew everything about! Not just their present – ongoing lives.. but also each and every sordid as well as respectable detail of their pasts.. And each of these characters in every different book are completely unique in their own respect!
In this book… Quentin is a restaurant and a major part of the book revolves around Ella who is making a kind of documentary on this book. The other major characters are the owners, managers of this restaurant, Ella’s partners in this documentary making business, Ella’s friends, family and love interests. Some parts of this book were predictable. But what makes it gripping is the multiple POV’s. You don’t know whose thoughts you’re going to read next!
Definitely a leisurely read! And one which makes me marvel at this extra-ordinary skill of Maeve Binchy to describe the life of these many characters in a single book! It was not my first read by this author and it definitely won’t be my last!
I really enjoy Binchy’s writing style. She has a knack for eloquent descriptions. I don’t know if it was because of her writing and word choices, or if it was just the cultural differences, but I thought the book was set in the 1920s or 30s at first. I still enjoyed it as modern fiction.
I loved the tableaus created in each subplot and how Quentins is the string that ties them all together.
I like Ella and felt I could relate to her character–young, naive, easily swept up into a questionable romance.
I do wish some of the characters were more fleshed out. I liked so many of them and their individual stories, but they felt 2D to me. Like I almost knew them, but something was missing.
Overall I enjoyed the book and I would reccomend it to anyone who enjoys light fiction and well-written prose.
This was very interesting read for me. I was just in Ireland last Sept. It was one of the best trips I have ever taken. To read a book about the country and it’s people right now took my mind off what’s going in in our country. It had such interesting characters. Maeve Binchy is a wonderful detailed writer. I have read 3 of her books. They are bright,inspiring, thought provoking, heart warming and fun!!! It tells of Brenda and Patrick who worked literally from nothing but their skill, to make Quentin’s, not even their restaurant, their love and life. They could never have children so this was their baby. Another person from Dublin decides to write the story of Quentin’s and make a documentary of it. It weaves the tail of it roots and the people involved with it. I truly enjoyed this book and I know you would enjoy spending the time in it’s pages!!!
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