Maeve Binchy Was Here

The news of Maeve Binchy‘s death caused me to sorrow and reminded me of the first time I met her and her ever-constant husband, Gordon.

My mother’s cousin Patricia, in Dublin, a fellow writer and close friend of Maeve’s, wrote that Maeve was coming to Santa Barbara for a book signing. Patricia told Maeve that her opera-singer cousin would be at the book signing.

Dave and I arrived very early at Chaucer’s. The staff were still setting up for the signing. I saw Maeve seated at a desk sipping a glass of white wine, with Gordon standing at her side. Excited, I flung open the door and impulsively, in full throttle, I sang “Dich teure halle gruss ich wieder.” While Dave no doubt was wishing he could fall through a hole in the floor, and Gordon looked suitably startled, Maeve burst into roars of laughter and said, “That would make a grand opening scene in a novel, and you no doubt are Christina.”

Typical Maeve Binchy. Not only was she a fine writer but she had the capacity to enjoy all the twists and turns of life and never put on airs. A rare thing nowadays.

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