by Maeve Binchy and contributors.
This was a disappointment. I’m not sure what the remit for this very slim volume was, but I was expecting something more detailed, more informative. I was expecting chapters on the craft of writing, I was hoping for more of Maeve Binchy’s writing experiences, or at the very least, some anecdotes about writing. What I got was a rather thin gruel of simplistic and frequently patronising advice one might give a class of nine year olds who think they might like to be writers one day. You don’t want to scare them, or confuse them with a lot of detail, merely encourage and applaud their ambition; that is what this book feels like, it has a condescending, kid-gloves tone that made my hackles rise.
Some of the contributors’ chapters are a little better, Ferdia McAnna’s ‘Writing Comedy’ and ‘Less is More’ by Gerald Dawe were especially good.
There’s a new short story at the end, ‘The Writing Class’; the Maeve Binchy fan might want to pick this volume up second-hand somewhere in order to read it. I’m sad to say, I wouldn’t pay the full cover price for this in the hope of learning something about writing, there are far better books to be had for the money.