It was my month to lead the book club I'm a part of locally. Since it was March, I thought it would be appropriate to read a book by an Irish author. So I fell back on Maeve Binchy, since I read Tara Road not too long ago. While perusing Tesco, I found her newest novel, Minding Frankie, and I picked it up and went with it. I wish it hadn't taken me almost a full month to get through, but I wasn't really impressed with it. Maeve Binchy is adorable and I love how her books about Dublin paint a picture of it being such a small, cozy community. The books contain a lot of interrelated characters. It makes for fun reading if you've read more than one of her books. I was thrilled when Minding Frankie made reference to Tara Road, and the restaurateur that lives there, Colm Barry - one of my favorite characters in Tara Road.
However, Minding Frankie was for the most part all over the place and hard to keep up with. Too many extra characters, too many running plotlines... I had a really hard time keeping up. The book follows Noel Lynch, a recovering alcoholic who suddenly and very unexpectedly finds himself a single parent to a newborn baby girl, Frankie. Noel is surrounded by a loving and supportive community and has the added benefit of his older (and wiser) cousin, Emily, as a long-term visitor from the United States. He is constantly having to prove his worthiness to his social worker, Moira, who is pretty much the biggest pain in the butt ever.
This book went on and on forever, and true to Maeve Binchy's unique writing style, many times at the end of a chapter, I felt like the book could safely have ended and spared itself from boring deeper into the well of "blah".
Disappointed that I chose this book for the book club and disappointed that it took me so long to complete. I gave it a two-star rating over at Goodreads. I really do like Maeve Binchy, though. She's cute. I can't help it.