Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 272 pages, 8.2 × 5.2 × 0.6 in
Published: May 29, 2007
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0385341784
ISBN - 13: 9780385341783
Read from the Book
This Year It Will Be Different Ethel wondered had it anything to do with her name. Apart from Ethel Merman there didn''t seem to be many racy Ethels; she didn''t know any Ethels who took charge of their own lives. At school there had been two other Ethels. One was a nun in the Third World, which was a choice, of course, but not a racy choice. The other was a gray sort of person, she had been gray as a teenager and she was even grayer in her forties. She worked as a minder to a Selfish Personality. She described the work as Girl Friday; it was, in fact, Dogsbody, which scanned perfectly, and after all, words mean what you want them to mean. These were no role models, Ethel told herself. But anyway, even if it weren''t a question of having a meek name, a woman couldn''t change overnight. Only in movies did a happily married mother of three suddenly call a family conference and say that this year she was tired of the whole thing, weary of coming home after work and cleaning the house and buying the Christmas decorations and putting them up, buying the Christmas cards, writing them and posting them so that they would keep the few friends they had. Only in a film would Ethel say that she had had it up to here with Christmas countdowns, and timing the brandy butter, and the chestnut stuffing, and the bacon rolls, and bracing herself for the cry "No sausages?" when a groaning platter of turkey and trimmings was hauled in from the kitchen. She who had once loved cooking, wh
From the Publisher
From the New York Times bestselling author of Circle
of Friends and The Glass Lake comes This Year It
Will Be Different, a stunning new work that brings us the
magic and spirit of Christmas in fifteen stories filled with Maeve
Binchy''s trademark wit, charm, and sheer storytelling genius.
Instead of nostalgia, Binchy evokes contemporary life; instead of
Christmas homilies, she offers truth; and instead of sugarplums,
she brings us the nourishment of holidays that precipitate change,
growth, and new beginnings.
In "A Typical Irish Christmas," a grieving New York widower heads
for a holiday in Ireland and finds an unexpected destination not
just for himself, but for a father and daughter at
odds. The title story "This Year It Will Be Different"
also delves into the emotions of a person at mid-life--a woman with
a complacent husband and grown children who are entering a season
that can forever alter her life, and theirs. In "Pulling
Together," a teacher not yet out of her twenties sees her affair
with a married man at a turning point as Christmas Eve
approaches--and she may be off on a new direction with some unusual
friends. And in the delightful tale "The Hard Core," the
four most recalcitrant residents of a nursing home are left alone
at Christmas with the owner''s daughter in charge: the result is
sure to be disaster--or the kind of life-affirming renewal that
only the spirit of the season can bring.
The stories in This Year It Will Be Different powerfully
evoke many lives--step-families grappling with ex''s, long-married
couples faced with in-law problems, a wandering husband choosing
between "the other woman" and his wife, a child caught in grown-up
tugs-of-war--during the one holiday when feelings cannot be easily
hidden. The time of year may be magical, imbued with meaning. But
the situations are universal. And Maeve Binchy makes us care about
them all. As the Philadelphia Inquirer noted, "Maeve
Binchy''s people come to life fully. They make you laugh and cry
and disturb your sleep." They do precisely that in this
extraordinary collection, on the night before Christmas when we are
snug in our beds, or anywhere, any time of the year.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Maeve Binchy was born and educated in Dublin. She is the
bestselling author of Evening Class, The Glass Lake, The Copper
Beech, The Lilac Bus, Circle of Friends, Silver Wedding, Firefly
Summer, Echoes, Light a Penny Candle, London Transports, two
plays, and a teleplay that won three awards at the Prague Film
Festival. She has been writing for The Irish
Times since 1969 and lives with her husband, Gordon Snell, in
From the Paperback edition.
"Poignant. . . Compassionate. . . All the stories boast Binchy''s
deft touch and knowing warmth."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"What makes [Binchy''s] stories so inviting is the subtle way they
tilt from humor to sorrow, then back again, in the blink of an
--Detroit News/Free Press
--Kansas City Star
--Chattanooga Free Press
From the Paperback edition.