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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|Title of Fantasy eBook: This Year It Will Be Different|
|Release Date: 09-04-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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This Year It Will Be Different
This Year It Will Be Different
Ethel wondered had it anything to do with her name. Apart from Ethel Merman there didn't seem to be many racy Ethels; she didn't know any Ethels who took charge of their own lives.
At school there had been two other Ethels. One was a nun in the Third World, which was a choice, of course, but not a racy choice. The other was a gray sort of person, she had been gray as a teenager and she was even grayer in her forties. She worked as a minder to a Selfish Personality. She described the work as Girl Friday; it was, in fact, Dogsbody, which scanned perfectly, and after all, words mean what you want them to mean.
These were no role models, Ethel told herself. But anyway, even if it weren't a question of having a meek name, a woman couldn't change overnight. Only in movies did a happily married mother of three suddenly call a family conference and say that this year she was tired of the whole thing, weary of coming home after work and cleaning the house and buying the Christmas decorations and putting them up, buying the Christmas cards, writing them and posting them so that they would keep the few friends they had.
Only in a film would Ethel say that she had had it up to here with Christmas countdowns, and timing the brandy butter, and the chestnut stuffing, and the bacon rolls, and bracing herself for the cry "No sausages?" when a groaning platter of turkey and trimmings was hauled in from the kitchen.
She who had once loved cooking, who had delighted in her family's looking up at her hopefully waiting to be fed, now loathed the thought of what the rest of the world seemed to regard as the whole meaning of Christmas