Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Monday, August 6, 2012

Silver Wedding by Maeve Binchy

Based on what I’ve blogged, this would be my 4th Binchy novel for this year. Silver Wedding.

Anna’s parents, Desmond and Deirdre Doyle, are celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary. And since this was definitely a milestone, a celebration was in order. Everyone who had been at the wedding party a quarter of a century ago had to be invited. Silver Wedding tells us the story of those in the wedding, and the children who came after, and what became of them in 25 years.

The family had quite an odd life. By all indications, they had the makings of a family who should be quite happy, and so it was really sad that they were always in a suspended state of pretend happy. All those years Deirdre fussed about keeping up appearances – appearing to be quite happy, that her husband is well on his way up the ladder of success in the company, that the children have each found their own place in the world and off in their successful and happy lives.

If they had problems, no one else needed to be told. All had to be kept within the family. A lay off, a son who ran away from home. None of this was to be discussed with other people, not even Grannie O’Hagan, who was family after all. And that is such a tiresome way to live. Nobody has a life of all peaches and cream. Not even I do, and I live quite a peaceful, normal life. I do have secrets, yes, but I don’t feel the need to cover them up all the time. And I definitely don’t feel the need to do that.

Apparently, Deirdre felt like she had to. And she did for the first 25 years of her marriage. Something tells me though that after the celebration, things did change. And she was free to finally be happy.

This book doesn’t make it to my favorites list, but like a true Binchy fan, I consider this a keeper. Once again, the importance of family is a central theme. But so is dreaming, and going after that dream.

RIP Maeve Binchy

I had learned a few days ago that as crazy as July had been, it was also the month that one of my favorite writers died. Binchy died in July 30, 2012. Rest in Peace Ma’am. You live on through the many stories you weaved for us.

I had to checkout her website of course, and saw this on the homepage:

The happiest moments of my life are connected with family and friends. There is a great comfort about being with people who knew you way back when. There is a mental shorthand, an easy-going feeling that life doesn't have to be explained or defined; we are all in more or less the same boat. To have a community around you in a changing and unstable world is invaluable and nothing can beat the feeling that there will always be people out for our good.

I know exactly what she means. That’s how I see the Seminary I grew up in, and the true friends I’ve had all these years.

In the About page, I read this line and realized that maybe this is why I liked her writing so much?

I was lucky enough to be fairly quick at understanding what was taught, but unlucky enough not to be really interested in it so I always got my exams but never had the scholar’s love of learning for its own sake. And even though I was fat and hopeless at games, which are very unacceptable things for a schoolgirl, I was happy and confident. That was quite simply because I had a mother and a father at home who thought I was wonderful. They thought all their geese were swans. It was a gift greater than beauty or riches, the feeling that you were as fine as anyone else.

I can so relate with her!

I would love to see her hometown someday, and see the beauty of Ireland. That would be a real treat!