SILVER WEDDING by Maeve Binchy


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A likable family novel centered on the approaching 25th wedding anniversary of a quiescently unhappy Irish-born couple in an undistinguished suburb of London. Like Gordon in The Other Side (see below), Binchy profiles and reviews the pasts of family (and friends) attending a family occasion, but here, the principals have made--or are about to make--watershed decisions affecting love and life, and it's generally happy endings all around. Deirdre and Desmond Doyle have a wall covered with photos of ""Major Celebrations""--christenings, graduations, etc.--but life to both has seemed to be just photos on a wall. To the couple's three children, the parents were always ""hiding things""--like the time Desmond lost his job with Palazzo Foods and no one was to talk about it; rather, they were to ""pretend"" it didn't happen. Daughter Anne, abed in London with a handsome, unfaithful lover, dreads the upcoming celebration. Her brother Brendan, to the horror of all, took off to work on an uncle's poor, rocky farm in the West of Ireland, and sister Helen, a klutz hoping for official sisterhood at the convent, seems hopeless. Anne also faces a crisis re her lover; Brenden confronts a clash of life styles; and Helen, the despair of the convent, has blundered into all sorts of troubles, including an unwitting seduction and a kidnapping. Meanwhile, in the extended family: Deirdre's friend Maureen loses a mother (both real and ideal) and finds a father; Frank Quigley, Desmond's old friend from Ireland, now widely successful, has loved well but unwisely and hoards a guilty secret; and Father Hurley, who married the Doyles, has made a terrible sacrifice. Eventually, Desmond finds a new, prideful career, and Deirdre hears some home truths. But it's a grand celebration after all. Once again, Binchy (Firefly Summer, 1988; Light a Penny Candle, 1983) focuses on attractive people you care about--in a companionable, neat, popular novel.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1989
Publisher: Delacorte