The Journey… Every Friday night a lilac-colored minibus leaves Dublin for the Irish country town of Rathdoon with seven weekend commuters on board. All of them, from the joking bank porter to the rich doctor’s daughter, have their reasons for making the journey.
The Destination…Rathdoon is the kind of Irish village where family histories are shared and scandals don’t stay secret for long. And this weekend, when the bus pulls in, the riders find the unexpected waiting for them…as each of their private lives unfolds to reveal a sharp betrayal of the heart, a young man’s crime, and a chance for new dreams among the eight intriguing men and women on…
The Lilac Bus short stories are the epitome of Maeve Binchy. Each story builds on the previous one, widening the perspective, expanding the community, and weaving these characters together. I would be hard-pressed to pick a favourite character or story because to take one from the collection would ruin the experience. I felt instantly welcomed into this world full of small-town gossip and ideals.
Unfortunately, since the early ’90s, The Lilac Bus has been published alongside the Dublin 4, and these four stories don’t even feel like Binchy wrote them. Overdramatic and convoluted, these strange plot choices and cliffhangers are entirely unnecessary. Tacking these four stories on the end of this collection felt like an afterthought, and it ruined the entire experience for me.
Read The Lilac Bus, ignore Dublin 4, and any Binchy fan will love this book.