Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen
In seeking creative Irish gifts for Irish American pals,I redicovered my most favorite Maeve Binchy Irish culture audio books on CD!In'The Lilac Bus' short stories,the same neighbors are on the bus daily,but what are they all planning when they get to Dublin? Each one keeps their thoughts secret, but Maeve Binchy is about to reveal all in one of the best audio books about relationships,or Irish family culture, I have seen.
A brightly colored rickety 'oul bus' sets out rattling down the boreens from a Wicklow mountain village towards Dublin's fair city and the glittering blue sea beyond.
The young driver of the bus is Tom and he has a crush on one of the girls going in to work every day on the little bus. He knows her very well, as indeed do all of the of the other passengers who commute into the city every day, whether they be university students, hospital receptionists or office girls.They don't know her as well as they think they do however, for she is struggling with a challenging secret at home.
Growing up together in a small Irish mountain village with only one pub and one village shop, the passengers know a lot about each others families - perhaps too much! The village of Rathdoon is not the sort of place where you can hide family skeletons in a cupboard for long, as one family finds out.
They are accused of 'hiding' their mentally-challenged daughter away where 'the neighbors won't see her' in a Home in the fair city of Dublin. Their plan of not dealing with her issues is going along fine, until one of the passengers on The Lilac Bus happens to see the girl while at the hospital herself. Dublin is,after all, a small family-woven city too - as anyone who knows it will attest!
Of course, they all gossip about one another, and one girl in particular is singled out for special criticism. Nancy shares a flat in the city during the week and only travels home for the weekends - probably (as one of the mean girls would say) because she is a loser and a loner with no friends and no social life at the weekends. 'I mean' they would say 'why would anyone in their right minds not want to be in Dublin at its best time - the weekends? Saturdays and Sundays are full of gaiety, theatre, live Irish music, carousing over pints of Guiness, dancing and sports games!'
Skilfully,in one of the best books on audio about Irish families around, Maeve Binchy slowly lets us into the secrets. It turns out to be true that no-one likes cheapskate Nancy who always puts herself first, never offers to buy a round of drinks, and expects her mother to provide meals for her on demand without ever offering anything back.
With her traditional compassionate style, the author sketches out the personalities, behaviours and issues of these sharply observed examples of human nature. For example, Nancy is shocked to discover that her 'roomie' is not necessarily her friend - just someone to share accommodation with for the sake of convenience. One sudden, shocking day - it is no longer convenient and her flatmate asks her to leave! Nancy creeps home to the mother she always took for granted expecting a hot meal on the table....
These are some of the people that Maeve Binchy will have you meet on 'The Lilac Bus' and by the time she is finished, they really will feel like friends! With her warm compassionate writing and her understanding nature Maeve Binchy has created virtual Irish worlds and communities to which you will want to return time and again. If you are looking for cheap audio books, christian audio books or discount audio books then keep an eye on Amazon offers - often Amazon audio books on CD have price reductions.
These creative Irish gifts comprising novels, short stories,DVDs and audio books are likely to be appreciated by:
Family and Friends with 'Irish roots!'
Family and Friends who aren't Irish, but love a 'great oul yarn' just the same.
Readers who appreciate warm stories of human relationships and their trials and tribulations.
Maeve Binchy Booklist:
Circle Of Friends
The Glass Lake
The Copper Beech...and more.
Maeve Binchy Style Writers (For when you've read them all...)
Anne Enright (the lighter ones! Perhaps the short stories)
Edna O Brien (a bit darker!)