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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.