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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

In Binchy's latest, fans will encounter familiar characters from Evening Class, Tara Road, and Scarlet Feather-which is sometimes a distraction. The novel primarily chronicles Ella Brady and her involvement with Dublin's finest restaurant, Quentins. Ella wants to make a documentary film about Quentins that will capture the dramas revolving around restaurant life. The film's financial backer, Derry King, becomes Ella's suitor after she has a terrible experience with a married, thieving investment advisor. This advisor-and his possible suicide-brings a bit of suspense to an otherwise ordinary tale. Not Binchy's best, this will still certainly be demanded by your patrons. Recommended for all public libraries. [Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and BOMC main selections.]-Carol J. Bissett, New Braunfels P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

A much-loved Irish novelist tells, in fictional form, the story of a Dublin restaurant.

  Kirkus Review

With some familiar characters amid the new, Binchy offers a sweetly affirming-with just enough redemptive vinegar-read in the story of Quentins, a hot Dublin restaurant. Ella Brady first dined at Quentins when she was a poised six-year-old and only child of Tim, who worked for an investment broker, and Barbara, a legal secretary, but in her 20s she met Don Richardson, a handsome financier, noted philanthropist, and married him. Ella wasn't worried about it, as she was badly smitten. But Don was no good-he embezzled his clients' money as well as that of Tim Brady, who'd been impressed with him-then fled to Spain with his family. Determined to pay her parents back what they'd lost, Ella quits her job as a poorly paid teacher and starts tutoring the memorable twins introduced in Scarlet Feather (2001) as well as working at Quentins, and helping filmmaker friends Nick and Sandy. When Ella comes up with an idea that's accepted by the prestigious King Foundation in the US-to illustrate the changes in Ireland by telling the story of Quentins-the story detours into key moments in the restaurant's history: its founding by Quentin Barry, a restaurant employee with big dreams who was helped by an unexpected gift; the hiring as manager and chef of childless couple Brenda and Patrick Brennan; Mon Harris, an Australian waitress, falling in love and marrying a customer; and Nora-the Signora from Evening Class (1997), back from Italy-having her new love celebrated in best Quentins style. Meanwhile, Ella, in New York, meets Derry King, head of the King Foundation, who accompanies her home when she learns that Don has apparently committed suicide-leaving her with his computer, which contains incriminating documents. Ella is soon in danger as Don's henchman stalks her, but handsome Derry helps, as do all the crew at Quentins. A leisurely paced treat, filled with holiday goodwill. Book-of-the-Month Club/Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club main selection
Summary
#1 New York Times bestselling author Maeve Binchy tells the story of a generation and a city through the history of a Dublin restaurant in this "warm-hearted" ( Boston Herald ) enthralling novel. <br> <br> Ella Brady wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. After all, the restaurant saw the people of a city become more confident in everything from their lifestyles to the food that they chose to eat. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell. But as Ella uncovers more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to wonder whether some secrets should be kept that way... <br> <br> "Quentins is not just any Dublin restaurant; it's a place where wedding proposals, business deals, family ties, and friendships are forged (and sometimes broken)."-- The Seattle Times
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