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Extended Audio Sample Chestnut Street, by Maeve Binchy Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maeve Binchy Narrator: Sile Bermingham Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Maeve Binchy imagined a street in Dublin with many characters coming and going, and every once in a while she would write about one of these people. She would then put it in a drawer; “for the future,” she would say. The future is now.

Across town from St. Jarlath’s Crescent, which readers will recognize from Minding Frankie, is Chestnut Street, where neighbors come and go. Behind their closed doors we encounter very different people with different life circumstances, occupations, and sensibilities. Some of these unforgettable characters are Bucket Maguire, the window cleaner, who must do more than he bargained for to protect his son; Nessa Byrne, whose aunt visits from America every summer and turns the house—and Nessa’s world—upside down; Lilian, the generous girl with the big heart and a fiancé whom no one approves of; Melly, whose gossip about the neighbors helps Madame Magic, a self-styled fortune-teller, get everyone on the right track; Dolly, who discovers more about her perfect mother than she ever wanted to know; and Molly, who learns the cure for sleeplessness from her pen pal from Chicago. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[The] prose is lyrical, carrying the reader along like a lullaby…Each tale offers a lesson about our preconceived notions and prejudices, themes that have been a Binchy hallmark…For Maeve Binchy fans, Chestnut Street is a gift bequeathed to the reader.”

    USA Today

  • “Has everything that makes Binchy special, in small delicious bites; her ability to capture human nature, describe individual life arcs, and breathe life into characters and settings really shines in these stories…Chestnut Street is fictional, but the characters are very real. It’s Binchy’s gift, this ability to tell stories through characters we recognize, can relate to, want to know…We believe in her world and the people she populates it with. They may be very Irish and often concern themselves with Irish issues—but at heart, the problems are human and universal.”


  • Chestnut Street will remind many readers why they made this beloved Irish author their favorite bedtime read.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “As befits a Binchy book, this one is packed with charming takes on people’s quirks and foibles, nosy neighbors and friendly ones. Binchy eloquently exposes and explores relationships between parents and children, husbands and wives, longtime and recently acquired friends.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Short stories that reflect a sunnier but not saccharine take on life are literature’s rewards for time spent reading on the dark side. And Maeve Binchy’s Chestnut Street is such a reward…[These stories] reflect Binchy’s generous spirit and realism about human frailty, never ignoring it but always empathizing with its cause…Though only a few pages long, each story is a complete and always perceptive narrative…Binchy’s collection constitutes a bittersweet parting gift from a storyteller who understood the ‘strange justice of the world’ that shapes lives wherever they live. She is greatly missed.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “No one commits any murders or changes the course of world history. Instead, ordinary people deal with relatable problems, conveyed in compassionate, unadorned prose…Here, as in her novels, Binchy’s humor furnishes a lot of the charm.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Insightful observations about human nature—all with Binchy’s thoughtful and loving touch that will be sorely missed.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Binchy was well-known for creating realistic characters who interact in ordinary ways, in ordinary places…Her many fans are sure to line up to read this.”


  • “Here, life’s problems, blessings, landmarks and tragedies all happen in many and varied ways. And thankfully, Maeve Binchy’s touch is apparent in each and every story. She will be sorely missed in the world of storytelling.”


  • “This posthumous publication offers a series of vignettes that celebrate the triumphs and sorrows that take place on a modest residential Dublin street.”

    Library Journal

  • “A posthumous collection of loosely linked stories from the much cherished Irish writer…For Binchy aficionados, a late indulgence.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Sile Bermingham enhances this diverse collection of short stories by the late Irish writer Maeve Binchy. In these works, Binchy explores the theme of appearance versus reality. As Bermingham captures the characters’ voices with gusto and realism, her best creations are young women who are changing emotionally…While some stories are better than others, anything new from Binchy is worth celebrating.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • An NPR Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A Chicago Tribune Bestseller
  • One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books of April 2014
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