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This Year It Will Be Different
This Year It Will Be Different | Maeve Binchy
22 posts | 7 read | 10 to read
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.
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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

This was definitely a re-read, and one I've read many times. I love Binchy's writing, and wish her voice was still among us. This collection of holiday stories is one of my all time favorites! #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead (21pts)

Scochrane26 I‘ll have to remember this for next year. 2mo
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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

And lastly, 3 very sweet grandchildren help their parents prepare for the Christmas invasion of the Never Pleased Grannies, and it's heartwarming and hilarious. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (20pts)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

Parny goes on vacation to Dublin to get away from his dad's obsessed ex-mistress, and find that happiness might just be for the birds. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (20pts)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

Two parents meet on a plane trip to Australia to visit their estranged children and find friendship and comfort. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (20pts)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

Took a brief time out from reading to toast in the New Year with the Hubs, and then finished this sweet story of Ben, spending his first Christmas since the death of his wife. An Irish travel agent sends him off to her dad's place as a sort of peacemaker and I'm not crying, you are. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (20pts)

Eggbeater Happy New Year to you and Aaron and the furbabies! 🎉 2mo
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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

Unlike the last story, Mrs. Doyle's family decides to go all out for their mom, making it the most stress free Christmas ever. Only it seems their mom was happier with all the insanity of the holidays. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (20pts)

Owlizabeth Happy New Year!! 2mo
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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

Ethel is tired a being superwoman to her family and vows that this year will be different! #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (20pts)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

This one is a little different, about a couple visiting the wife's unhappy mother every Christmas and trying their best to make slap on a happy face. The mother isn't so content to let things be though. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (20pts)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

Another woman dating a married man and realizing it makes for a pretty lonely Christmas. She ends up teaming up with an older teacher who has lost her home to gambling debts and a teen girl who's parents are splitting up. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (20pts)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

Poor Jen is the 2nd, less glamorous wife. When the stress at Christmastime gets too much, Jen finally voices her fears and frustrations and finds that being uncivilized is just the right thing to be sometimes. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (21)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

Chris is dating the married Noel, and thinks their relationship is perfect. Until a Christmas spent doing an eye-opening quiz gets her to see Noel as he is, and her father's junior partner as more than just a guest. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (21)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

I love the Hard Core! The hard core being 4 very querulous residents in a rest home in Australia. They find a way, along with a carer, to not only find Christmas spirit, but to save the sinking facility. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (21pts).

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MidnightBookGirl
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An Irish teacher, disappointed in love, travels to NYC for the holidays. There she meets another lonely soul, who is still mourning the passing of the man he loved but kept secret from his family. They strike up a fortuitous relationship, and it's all sadly sweet. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (21pts)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

This story is a bit sad. Poor Maura tries her best to make Christmas lovely for her family, but it's her daughter's Polaroid pics that show the reality of the family. #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (21)

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MidnightBookGirl
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Pickpick

I thought I'd spend today re-reading a Holiday favorite. The first story is how Jenny finally makes a connection with her sullen stepdaughter over a Christmas decoration misunderstanding. ❤ #WinterGames @Clwojick @StayCurious #SlayBells #HolidayRead #24B42020 (21pts)

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litsybookclub
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We hope you are enjoying Hunger - our live discussion will be this Sunday, Nov. 19th @ 2pm ET.

It's time to pick November's book - "A Book Published This Year." Complete rules posted above ?? but remember it must be 450 pages or less and have come out no later than August. To nominate tag the book in comments below. Nominations will close Wednesday evening.

See All 35 Comments
Jess7 This one is really good 2y
Theresa Ignore the Magpie Murders suggestion; it's too long. 2y
Richryan52 @Litsybookclub The Stone of Destiny (edited) 2y
litsybookclub @Jess7 @kamoorephoto @Bookreader18 Little Fires Everywhere, The Child Finder, and Turtles All the Way Down all came out after the August cut off date. Sorry about that! (edited) 2y
litsybookclub @kamoorephoto @Erin7 The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, Dark Matter and America Again were not published this year. Sorry! 2y
litsybookclub NOMINATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED! 2y
kamoorephoto Yay, got two of mine in there! 2y
Erin7 No problem. Sorry about that. 2y
litsybookclub @kamoorephoto 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
litsybookclub @Erin7 No worries! 2y
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review
Libby1
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Pickpick

This is a book of 20 short stories by Irish author Maeve Binchy that all have a Christmas theme. I'm a month late in getting to it!

Most of these stories were strong and beautiful. One was rather twee and a couple were a bit depressing.

All in all this is a Pick, as Binchy really understood the complexity and beauty of being human.

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Libby1
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The title of the next short story in this collection.

Maybe it could be a motto of sorts for the year ahead?

saresmoore I love that optimism! 3y
Libby1 Yes, @saresmoore ! I didn't even look at what the book was about. I bought it because of the title. It was a pleasant, delightful surprise. 3y
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Libby1
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Lola cat loves when my books have those stringy attached bookmark thingamajigs.

#CatsOfLitsy

MrBook 😻😻😻😻 3y
saresmoore So cute! 3y
rubyslippersreads Tortitude! 😸 3y
See All 10 Comments
books_cats_art Yay! Tortie! 3y
DebinHawaii Sweet girl! 🐱❤️ 3y
BookishlyPleasant I have a tortie too! :D 3y
cewilf 😻😻😻 3y
Libby1 Thanks, @MrBook , @saresmoore , @rubyslippersreads , @radishandhare , @DebinHawaii , @BookishlyPleasant , and @cewilf . She is a gorgeous tortie and is my constant reading companion. ❤😻❤ 3y
BookBabe 😻😻😻😻😻 2y
Libby1 Thanks, @BookBabe . She‘s a sweetheart. ❤️ 2y
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Libby1
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"...Apparently Dan likes smaller, thinner, younger-looking girls..."

"They ALL like smaller, thinner, younger-looking girls, that's the system."

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Libby1
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Oops. I got it wrong. This book of short stories by Irish author Maeve Binchy is very much about Christmas and not New Year's.

But who cares if I'm reading it a month late? The stories are so beautiful, funny, and tender, and the blue cover and artwork bring me joy. 💕

61 likes4 stack adds
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MidnightBookGirl
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I'm actually listening to No Nightingales, No Snakes while I run errands (Litsy didn't have it listed). What are you #CurrentlyReading for #readathon? #midnightbookgirl