Pros: Realistic characters/believable situations
Cons: Starts a bit slowly
I've read all of Binchy's book and found this one right up to the mark if a bit slow to start off with. As with all of her novels, Binchy creates a character circle that is so natural and realistic that I find myself looking forward to catching up with their lives as I pick up my novel. It will never be great literature, I suppose, but it is thoroughly readable and emotionally satisfying. My take is that the characters are completely ordinary folks rising above their completely ordinary surroundings to achieve sometimes extraordinary feats.
The dialogue is natural and not filled with the Steelisms you get in so many other popular novels. There is a distinctly Irish turn of phrase and wit.
Update 10/5/00 Some reviewers are concerned that I do not write "what it is about." Mostly it is the story of a marriage and how it evolves as its partners grow and face the kinds of challenges most average married folks face--career changes, fidelity, home issues, friendship conflicts and children. I am loathe to include more than that for fear of spoiling the read of someone who would like to have a personal response without having too much preliminary information about the novel. If you like Maeve Binchy's other novels, you will like this for the same type of down-to-earth characters and lilting dialogue and description.