Chestnut Street

Chestnut Street

by Maeve Binchy
3.6 69

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Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy

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, featured in 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 the unforgettable characters lovingly brought to life by Binchy 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 . . .

Chestnut Street is written with the humor and understanding that are earmarks of Maeve Binchy’s extraordinary work and, once again, she warms our hearts with her storytelling. 

This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385351867
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 51,481
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Maeve Binchy is the author of numerous best-selling books, including her most recent novels, A Week in Winter, Minding Frankie, Heart and Soul, and Whitethorn Woods, as well as Circle of Friends and Tara Road, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Married to Gordon Snell, she lived in Dalkey, Ireland, until her death in July 2012.

From the Hardcover edition.


Dublin, Ireland, and London, England

Date of Birth:

May 28, 1940

Place of Birth:

Dalkey, a small village outside Dublin, Ireland


Holy Child Convent in Killiney; B.A. in history, University College, Dublin, 1960

Customer Reviews

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Chestnut Street 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel like I purchased scraps from a writers diary. Each story had one theme infidelity...but with a different characters. Very boring. I had to force myself to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every character in this book has one connection with all the others--they all live on Chestnut Street. That is the factor that runs through as the theme in each vignette. As I was reading this I wondered if Maeve Binchy ever intended for this to be published. It is very different from her other works. I miss her--no one else was quite the storyteller she was!
bibliolover More than 1 year ago
A sweet collection of stories, some of which are wonderful, others a little less. While I liked the stories the 'connection' they were to have on Chestnut Street really wasn't there. Maeve was so GREAT at interweaving characters and plot (Glass Lake, Copper Beach) that I was hoping for a similar interlocking of stories and characters, but that really did not happen. Nevertheless I was happy to have one more Binchy book. Thankfully, they all can be read over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am very disappointed in this book. I am halfway through it and I don't think I will finish. It seems to be a group of ideas that Ms. Binchy had for books that she would like to write in the future. Sort of a storyboard, something she could refer to if she needed ideas. It is frustrating to get into the story she is telling just to have it end abruptly. It is like ordering a hamburger and only getting the roll --- no meat. Same thing is wrong with this book sorry to say.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Chestnut Street is the final book by popular Irish author, Maeve Binchy. It is a collection of thirty-six short stories, all with some relation to Chestnut Street, Dublin (just around the corner from St Jarlath’s Crescent, another address well-known to Binchy fans). Most of the stories have not been published previously, but some have a rather unfinished feel, as if they are the first chapter of a longer story. This idea is reinforced by the inclusion of the first chapter of Star Sullivan (a first chapter which promises more than the rather mediocre final version that was published as a Quick Reads story) and the first 3 chapters of The Builders (a wonderful piece of Binchy gold published in the Open Door series). There is a forward by Binchy’s husband, Gordon Snell, outlining her intentions with this collection. While Binchy fans will enjoy most of the stories, a few are decidedly unsatisfying, meaning that this collection is a bit of a mixed bag: most of the stories are true Maeve Binchy diamonds; a few are just stones. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I realize that this is a collection of short stories more so than a full novel. She will be missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the usual and not enjoyable reading.
LANamaste58 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! Bravo! 
dollfriend More than 1 year ago
I have absolutely enjoyed this book, even though I'm not into books of stories. Since I'll read anything Maeve wrote, I HAD to get this one, and I haven't been disappointed. I wish to thank her husband, Gordon Snell, for making sure this book was published, because we'd have missed out on some delightful stories.
Star_Prairie_reader More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Maeve's other books and was sorry she had passed. I read Chestnut Street, hoping for more of her lively characters and situations, but was totally unprepared for the animal abuse in one of the stories. I am sorry the editor included this. Every day I open the newspaper or see on line stories of horrific animal abuse. I don't need to read about it from my favorite author! I stopped reading the book after this story. Sorry fans, this is not the best of Maeve Binchy. I agree with another reviewer, the focus seems to follow one path, unfaithfulness. I would not recommend this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont recommend this at all! I always look forward to a new Maeve Binchy book and was so disappointed with this book! It is a compilation of very short stories of about 5 pages or less and no revelance to the next story. It just reminds me of random thoughts. I do not recommend!
tjbWI More than 1 year ago
The book is a series of short stories tied together by the addresses on Chestnut Street in Dublin. It is perfect for me at this time since I have small sections of time free for reading. I am able to read one or two stories at a time. The stories also have 'morals' or 'lessons'and the characters are interesting and varied.
C2N4RP More than 1 year ago
I realize that these were ideas she had made and had never carried through in a book. Someone else put it together for her. After awhile each scenario became predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved this author's books but this one was not good ... I know that she passed and I wonder if someone else put this together
catfan54 More than 1 year ago
Always loved reading Maeve Binchy. Started reading her books when we were stationed in England. Sorry to read that she died. Her books are always a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought the interlockig stories about people getting their li ves together were great.
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Lil51 More than 1 year ago
I really love all of her other books, this one did not hold my interest like the others, still a great author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was horribly disappointing.  I read and read waiting for the chapters to be pulled together in a story.  It never happened and I suit reading with about 50 pages left T.  Each chapter is about a family who lives in one of homes on Chestnut Street (husband is usually cheating on the wife).  Seldom was there anything uplifting or enjoyable to read about any of these families.  This really was an awful waste of paper & my time.  Not at all up to par for this author.  As someone wrote, felt like reading a writers notes.  Don't waste your time,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was actually a fun read, but because I didn't understand the premise I was a little lost at first. Once I realized what she was doing I actually enjoyed this book.