This book is very entertaining. I loved it. A New York Times best seller. A book of passion-but not a "Romance" novel. This is a story of true passion and love. The setting is a night class, in a Dublin college. The characters are studying a course in Italian. Great character development in this book. The book is witty and you slowly uncover the most unexpected things in the lives of these individuals. Excellent story telling that probes the drama in the lives of everyday people. This is a good one!
I really liked this book. I loved the way Maeve Binchy writes from one persons point of view and then changes to another persons point of view in each chapter. She draws you in to each persons life. By the end of the book you feel as if you know each person and then she weaves them all together. At the end of this book I found myself reflecting on how our lives are interrrelated in so many ways, ways that we do not even know. Good summer read. Definately worth the time
This was my first Maeve Binchy book, and I have to say that I enjoyed it and plan to read more of her books in the future. This story revolves around an evening Italian class and the people who are taking the course. Somehow, each character is brought together in the class through various connections (in a way it reminds me of the TV show LOST in how everything is somehow connected, even on a minor level, minus the supernatural stuff). Each character is fleshed out in their own chapter, and Binchy really strives to make the setting come alive by describing everything in detail. She goes into each characters' past to explain their motives for taking the Italian class, and what they learn from their classmates and their teacher, Signora (most of what they learn has nothing to do with the new language). A few things felt dated as it was written in and based in the early-to-mid 1990s, a few parts were predictable, and for me there were a few terms that aren't the same in America as they are in Ireland that made it tricky to understand a few things (take away for take out; noughts and crosses for tic-tac-toe; many references to the various levels of education & grades in school, etc.) , but I think that also added to the book's charm since it made the setting feel very real and I could hear it being read in an Irish accent. I enjoyed Aidan's story the most, probably because I'm a teacher myself, but each characters' story is interesting on its own, and it was nice to see each character grow and change throughout the story. All-in-all, if you are looking for something relatively light, but not "fluffy," to read, then this is the book for you! :-)
Having read all of Binchy's works, I would say this is one of her best. While she continues her forte of entertwining lives, she has stepped out of her typical scenarios and thrust a group of strangers together into a class to learn the Italian language.
Each chapter is from a different character's point of view. It is so interesting to see the story through different eyes, especially when they start to meet and their lives intertwine.
It is an easy read and hard to put down because you want to find out what happens next.
A very good story teller. She has many characters in this book who are bound together by attending an evening class. I liked the characters and how their lives were so involved all by one thread. A good read.
520 pages of this novel.. and still not enough... tells the saga of an Italian class...of both teacher and students...who are aspiring to an end of semester trip to Italy....take this ride along and live their dreams and hopes...
They came together at Mountainview College, a down-at-the heels secondary school on the seamy side of Dublin, to take a course in Italian. It was Latin teacher Aidan Dunne's last chance to revive a failing marriage and a dead-end career. But Aidan's dream was headed for disaster until the mysterious Signora appeared, transforming a shared passion for Italy into a life altering adventure for them all...
This is the first book by Binchy that I've read, but it certainly won't be the last. The blurb describes the plot fairly well, but doesn't say that the author gets you to really care about the difficulties of her characters, and to wonder how they are going to get out of their (sometimes quite peculiar) circumstances. A very good read.
From book jacket: Aidan Dunne, a Dublin Latin teacher, always meant to go back to the Italy he visited as a youth. But as the years passed, he concentrated instead on the usual struggles of daily life, like vying for the job of headmaster at his school, keeping memories of Italy in the back corners of his mind. At forty-eight, emotionally distanced from his wife, baffled by his two grown daughters, Aidan Dunne might have given up entirely if it hadn't been for the evening class. His class. A class called Introduction to Italian. A class where people from every walk of life come together. A class where long-buried hopes come alive again.
The teacher is Signora, a vivacious, eccentric woman with an irrepressible nature and a buried past. Her real name is Nora O'Donoghue, a Dublin native who abandoned Ireland decades before to follow her mysterious lover to Italy. Having defied her parents' Catholic conventions, she ended up in a village where tradition dictated everything--including how a woman could love or grieve. Now, as she meets Aidan Dunne and the men and women who come together each Tuesday and Thursday night, Signora begins to learn their secrets and their dreams. And slowly she transforms each of their lives.
Suddenly Aidan Dunne's last chance, his evening class has become a place of intrigue and revelation. Here Bill, a reliable bank clerk, uncovers the hidden source of his fiancee Lizzie's outrageous behavior. Teenage Kathy, slow at day school but bright as a button with Signora, is coming close to realizing a devastating truth about her family. Streetwise Lou, his tuition paid by a crime boss, has his own agenda for the group. And mousy Fiona decides to meddle in a married man's illicit affair--with repercussions for everyone, including Signora and Aidan Dunne.
Binchy has captured the hearts of readers with her bestsellers, Circle of Friends, The Glass Lake, and This Year It will be Different. Once again in this novel that is filled with her warmth, wit, and unforgettable characters -- a powerful moving tale of ordinary men and women whose quite lives hide the most unexpected things. In writing that is wise, powerful, and moving, she brings to life a story of families and lovers, of realized passions and moments of triumph, of wounds made by caring too much, or not caring at all.
This is a beautiful story. I loved the discription of the land and the foods. Makes you want to go to Dublin. The author has brought the people and land to life in your hands. This book as well as all Ms. Binchy's is charming and worth the time spent reading.
Another great Maeve Binchy book. You read as each character develops and interacts with each other in a typical Binchy way. I especially love the way she gets you to love not only Ireland, but Italy in this book. Highly recommended!
I like a good story and Maeve writes some of the best I've ever read! This, like her others, I'm sure, will please those ladies who are looking for a great read! Likable characters, plausible storylines, and images that will stay with you! I recommend this and every book she's written!
I read an abridged version of this story a few years back and enjoyed it thoroughly. Binchy has a way of bringing her characters and settings to vivid life.
Maeve Binchy can always be counted on to spin an involving tale about ordinary people that brings out the extraordinary in everyone. In Evening Class, Binchy zooms in on the working-class of Dublin. Schoolteacher Aidan Dunne organizes an evening class in Italian with the help of Nora O'Donoghue, an Irishwoman returning home after 26 years in Sicily. When the somewhat squashed-by-life denizens of the surrounding neighborhood take the unexpected step of enrolling in the class, they find their lives transformed.
Binchy tells her story from the viewpoints of eight different characters and rewards both them and her readers with happy endings after the requisite rocky road. Reading a novel by Maeve Binchy is like catching up with old friends--you know everything will turn out fine in the end, but you're still interested in how things get that way.
Highly recommend anything written by Maeve Binchy....A really great read.Once you start reading about the characters you get so involved in their lives that you can't wait to see what is coming up next. Just a great all around women's novel that shows how women can succeed no matter what the circumstances.
It was the quiet ones you had to watch. That's where the real passion and lust were lurking. The came together at Mountainview College, a down-the-heels secondary school on the seamy side of Dublin, to take course in Italian.
They came together at Mountainview College, a down-at-the-heels secondary school on the seamy side of Dublin, to take a course in Italian. It was Latin teacher Aidan Dunne's last chance to revive a failing marriage and a dead-end career. But Aidan's dream was headed for disaster until the mysterious Signora appeared, transforming a shared passion for Italy into a life-altering adventure for them all...bank clerk Bill and his dizzy fiance Lizzie: a couple headed for trouble...Kathy, a hardworking innocent propelled into adulthood in a shocking moment of truth...Connie, the gorgeous rich lady with a scandal ready to explode...glowering Lou, who joined the class as a cover for crime. And Signora, whose passionate past remained a secret as she changed all their lives forever....
From the New York Times bestselling author of This Year It Will Be Different, The Glass Lake, and Circle of Friends, comes a novel filled with Maeve Binchy's signature warmth, wit, and sheer storytelling genius--a spellbinding tale of men and women whose quiet lives hide the most unexpected things....