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Summary

Stories about ordinary people going about ordinary lives are always fascinating - when told by a writer blessed with extraordinary talent, insight, and compassion.

This Year it Will be Different brings us the magic and spirit of Christmas in 15 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.

The stories in This Year it Will be Different powerfully evoke many lives during the one holiday of the year when feelings cannot be easily hidden - when step-families grapple with exes; long-married couples face in-law problems; a wandering husband chooses between "the other woman" and his wife; a child is caught in the grown-up tug-of-war. The time of year may be magical, imbued with personal meaning, but the situations are universal, and Maeve Binchy makes us care about them all.

©1999, 2007 Maeve Binchy (P)1999, 2007 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

Critic reviews

"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 eye." ( Detroit News/Free Press)

What listeners say about This Year it Will be Different

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Gets you in the Christmas Spirit

This is really really lightweight listen. Maeve Binchy has written a group of stories which explore the myriad challenges faced by various groups of people at Christmas - ie: dinner with demanding parents, spending Christmas alone because your lover is spending it with their wife etc.

Funny in parts, poignant in others, this kept me entertained during long drives around the country. However, often the stories seemed to finish rather abruptly, leaving me overall with a vague feeling of dissatisfaction.

It won't change your life, but this audiobook does help to get you in the Christmas spirit.

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Realy enjoyable story's

I enjoyed all the story in this able. Would listen to it again! Well written easy to understand! Thank you

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Beautifully written if slightly repetitive

I remember loving this collection as a young teen, but I struggled a bit on a reread. There are some really beautiful, moving stories that are just perfect. But there's also so many about divorce, affairs and the trials of second marriages that it became a bit repetitive and depressing. I listened on audiobook and they are read beautifully by Kate Binchy.

A minor gripe (no starts deducted as it's production thing) is that the tracks on the audiobook are not with every story but every few stories, meaning it will be harder to go back and listen to the ones I really enjoyed.

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perfect Christmas reading.

Enjoyed all the stories and loved the narrator's voice too. Maeve Binchy never disappoints

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Fiona
  • 18-06-09

Irish humour at its best

If you like hunourous short stories, this is a great book. I think I have pretty much read all of Maeve Binchy's books, narrated by her daughter Kate Binchy and this is a lovely lighthearted look at Christmas and all that it entails.