Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

I love Maeve Binchy and was delighted to have a new-to-me one to read this past summer. That’s right, I read it that long ago. Oh well. What was I saying about it when I talked about it with friends?

Reading her books has me convinced that present day Ireland is a backwater.

Hmm….I seem to remember talking about this book a lot, but that’s the only proof I have of it.  So, what I remember is that this one is about a young man who had a one night stand approximately 8 months ago and thought no more of it.  Well now the woman is preparing to have her baby as well as to die from cancer. That’s right. She is in the hospital and knows that she will not be coming out, but her baby will.  Will the help of a kindly priest she finds the young man, Noel, and says she wants him to care for the baby.  And thus begins a whole long story of caring for the baby, figuring out his life, finding romance, and a whole bunch of busybodies who seem to want to take the baby away.  I don’t know what Ireland’s laws are like, but it felt so weird and old fashioned to me. More so than her other books. I had trouble getting past the fact that he was the baby’s father, legally and biologically, and in his right mind, and solvent, and yet a social worker is constantly coming by to count how many diapers he has in supply and continuously threaten him that if it’s not up to her standards the baby will just be taken away?? But if you can get past that giant flaw, the human stories part of the book are wonderful. And that’s the lovely Binchy touch.

 

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