Creator / Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy Snell (28 May 1939 30 July 2012) was an Irish writer, mainly known for writing novels dealing with the tensions between urban and rural life, the contrasts between England and Ireland, and the dramatic changes in Ireland between World War II and the present day.

List of published novels:

  • Light A Penny Candle (1982)
  • The Lilac Bus (1984)
  • Echoes (1985)
  • Firefly Summer (1987)
  • Silver Wedding (1988)
  • Circle of Friends (1990)
  • The Copper Beech (1992)
  • The Glass Lake (1994)
  • Evening Class (1996)
  • Tara Road (1998)
  • Scarlet Feather (2000)
  • Quentins (2002)
  • Nights of Rain and Stars (2004)
  • Whitethorn Woods (2006)
  • Heart and Soul (2008)
  • Minding Frankie (2010)
  • A Week In Winter (2013)

Tropes contained in author's works:

  • Arcadia: The books are typically set in small Irish towns on the outskirts of major cities like Dublin, thus allowing for frequent trips.
  • Are You My Mummy?: In Evening Class, a character only discovers her true relationship to a family member after being informed of this fact by those around her.
  • The Baby Trap: In Circle Of Friends after being ditched by her lover and not wanting to have an abortion, a desperate Nan seduces Jack—her best friend's boyfriend—and tells him he's the baby's father, knowing that he'll do the right thing and offer to marry her.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: Cathy in Scarlet Feather. She was actually happy about the pregnancy, but the miscarriage forces her to admit that her marriage isn't working.
    • Also Nan in Circle Of Friends, breaking her engagement. Fittingly, since the man in question wasn't the baby's father (see above).
    • A young woman in Nights Of Rain And Stars, saving her from being permanently linked to her abusive boyfriend.
  • Creator Provincialism: Nearly all of her books are set in Ireland and the one that isn't—Nights Of Rain And Stars—still features Irish characters.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Played straight in Circle Of Friends, when Nan refuses to have one—"I'm a Catholic. I couldn't kill my baby!", but averted in Light A Penny Candle when a character seeks one out after finding herself pregnant and unmarried.
  • Interclass Romance: Cathy and Neil in Scarlet Feather, Clare and David in Echoes
  • Missing Mom: In The Glass Lake, Kit's mother disappeared by the titular lake and committed suicide when she was a child. She later discovers that her mother is not dead, she had decided to abandon her family and run off to England to start a new life with her former lover and had changed her name.
  • No Periods, Period: Almost always averted, usually with a late one indicating someone is pregnant.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Often. The Rich Bitch mother in laws from the abovmentioned "interclass" in particular.
  • Oireland: Subverted. The books are all set in Ireland and naturally chock-full of Irish characters, but none of them are stereotypical.
  • Where Are They Now: Quentins brings back numerous characters from previous books.
  • Write Who You Know: Heart & Soul was penned following Binchy's hospitalization for a heart condition.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Often. Usually shocking the betrayed person, who had no reason to think their relationship was anything but perfect. One version shocks the "other woman", who had not the slightest idea that her "perfect" boyfriend was married until he slips up and tells her himself, assuming she already knew.