The copy of London Transports that I got my mitts on for a quarter at the library sale has a gorgeous cover. A glorious, brightly colored painting of trees, sidewalk and roadway set against a backdrop of cityscape and a mottled sky that looks like something Van Gogh might have come up with if he'd been in the right place at the right time (naturally, I can't find an image anywhere - darn). The inside, on the other hand . . . well, let's just say this wasn't the best of introductions to Maeve Binchy.
On the other hand, since it's my first Binchy book I can hardly judge. The 22 short stories had this in common: dreary lives, London settings (each story had a location name for a title, such as "Marble Arch" and "Pimlico") and characters that were in serious need of a good bonking. They were, for the most part, idiots. Emotional whackos. Stupid, stupid, stupid - just ditch the married guy and run types. The writing, on the other hand, was merely mediocre. Since I'd agreed to buddy read, I finished. Otherwise, I probably would have abandoned the book during one of my attention deficit fits, one of those moments when I reread a sentence five times and then found myself dreamily observing dust bunnies on the ceiling fan. The dust bunnies were scary; I should have been cowering, but I was somewhat hypnotized and neglected to even think, "Oh, say, I should do something about those dust bunnies."
Maeve Binchy also has a serious punctuation problem; she needs to learn about semicolons. I'd willingly to fly to Dublin to share my expertise. However, I supposed she'd justifiably bonk me on the head and send me home. Ah, well.