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.