As a teenager, I was obsessed with Maeve Binchy novels. I loved the characters, the world that was created, their challenges and the way they overcame them. It’s been ages since I returned to them, but I’m so glad I have. There were two that I absolutely loved: Light a Penny Candle and Echoes. So much that I seem to have mixed the two up – I was about halfway through when I realised I was partially living in the wrong world, looking forward to events that were not going to happen.
Light a Penny Candle starts with Elizabeth as a war evacuee from London sent to Ireland to live with Elizabeth’s mother’s schoolfriend and her family. Quickly, she becomes closest friends with Aisling and the book follows their friendship through their time together in Ireland, Elizabeth returning to London, and how their lives are, both entwined and separate.
I still love it. It’s engaging and beautiful, and I love the way Binchy creates a whole world describing through action, revealing so much about characters and everything in simple, beautiful paragraphs.