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Evening Class - Maeve Binchy

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Author: Maeve Binchy / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 02 April 2008 / Genre: Languages / Subcategory: English Language Teaching (ELT): yes / Category: ELT Graded Readers / Publisher: Pearson Education Limited / Title: Evening Class / ISBN 13: 9781405882156 / ISBN 10: 1405882156 / Alternative EAN: 9780752876825

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    2 Reviews
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      14.06.2009 20:58
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      A decent holiday read

      Evening Class by Maeve Binchy is not the sort of book I would normally chose. I prefer gritty, unusual stories with unexpected twists . As it happens the choice of english books in my local library is limited and there weren't any better options(I refuse to read Nora Roberts.) Thus I began "Evening Class" expecting a pretty run of the mill book that if not exactly chick lit was not far off.

      Evening Class is set around Mountainview school in Dublin, the very school that Aidan Dunne is expecting to become headmaster of. Unfortunately, he suffers a major disappointment as he loses out. To console himself he starts an Italien evening class and recruits the mysterious Signora(real name Nora O'Donoghue,) an Irish woman who has spent 30 years in a small Sicilian town, as the teacher. Each chapter of the book concentrates on one of the members of this evening class. Discovering their personal secrets as well as the impact the classe has on their lives. From the young, hard-working Kathy to the rich but generous Connie to the mentally challenged but determined Laddy people from every background and social class are to be found here. But how will the class' final trip to Italy culminate, will all the secrets come out and who will find love in the end?

      I found the plot to be interesting if slightly too neat and most of the "twists" could be recognized early on. As we are told most of the characters secrets straight away there is little to be discovered and, in my opinion of course, the ending was predictable.
      However, the writing style of Maeve Binchy is clear and easy to follow. She essentially manages to tell several stories in this novel and all within the space of one chapter. The plot is well-thought out and constructed if a little unbelievable. As a holiday book or just an easy read it is one of the better ones of its genre. I also liked the fact that the female characters were strong, independent and modern rather than being damsels in distress waiting for a man to come along.

      In summary, a good if rather uninspiring book. I liked the characters but didn't feel particularly strongly about any of them and the ending didn't raise any emotion in me. Yet if you fancy something simple to read and easy to get into for your holidays this summer then this would be a good choice.

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      12.08.2001 00:04
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      For me evening class is a great book written by one of my favourite authors Maeve Binchy. It tells the story of a very mixed group of people from Dublin who join an evening class to learn Italian all for very different reasons. The class is run by a lady called Nora O’Donoghue who has just returned from Italy after the death of her beloved Mario whom she was the mistress of for many years, this wasn’t a sordid love affair but the usuall tale of a man not wanting to leave his wife and children. She returns to dublin penniless and in look of work and lodges with Aidan Dunne a teacher at Mountainview High who suggests to Nora to run an Italian nightclass. An unlikely bunch sign up for the class and the whole tale is bound to keep you enthralled through the whole book. Aidan Dunne teaches at Mountainview highschool with the hope that he will be the next headmaster but alas this dream is snatched away from him so coming to terms with this he pours his energy into the italian eveningclass. We meet the members who have joined up over the next few chapters namely: BILL: Bill works for a bank and is in love with Lizzie and he works in a bank and persuades Lizzie to join up for the evening class too in the hope of living in Italy one day and running a bank over there. KATHY: Kathy is still at school and is very intelligant but her parents are a waste of space and relies mainly on her sister for most things and it is her sister who encourages her to sign up for the classes as she believes that speaking another language would be of the greatest benifit to her. LOU: Lou is a bit of a lad who has mixed with the wrong crowd and has gotten into trouble with the police, but trying to change his ways he joins the group to impress his new girlfriend Suzie as he wants to marry her and have the honeymoon in Italy. CONNIE: Connie has a rich husband but she is bored and in
      search of new thing to do so when she see’s the advert she too joins the gang for the classes. LADDY: Laddy lives with his nephew and isn’t very bright so he tries to make his nephew proud of him and to bring new buisness to his struggling hotel. FIONA: Fiona is friends with Aidan’s two girls and she joins the class along with her new boyfriend Barry for something to do and as a way to meeting new people. In this book the characters all have there own stories to tell but I was amazed at the way all there lives became intertwined and characters became linked. The group all take a trip to Italy at the end of the class with some interesting outcomes but don’t just take my word for it read it yourself and I can guarentee you will fall in love with Italy and be searching for your own Italian evening class. I couldn't put this book down and was very sad to see them all go. A real feelgood story that will want to make you shout bellisimo.

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    • Product Details

      Among the many evening classes starting all over Dublin is an Introduction to Italian. On the surface it could be just one of hundreds in which some students will succeed and some will fall along the way. But the Italian class at Mountainview shool has its own special quality, and the hopes and dreams of so many people are tied up in the twice weekly lessons.