Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Quentins
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Penguin Audiobooks, ℗2002.
Physical Description:
5 audio discs (6 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.

Abridged by Trebbe Johnson.
While filming a documentary about Quentins, a famed Dublin restaurant, Ella Brady explores the changing face of the city from the 1970s to the present day as she captures the stories of the people who have made Quentins a center of their lives.
Added Author:


Call Number

On Order



Maeve Binchy follows the enormous success of Scarlet Feather with a new book, Quentins, that delivers the hallmark storytelling that has kept millions of her readers happy for more than twenty years. Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hours

Author Notes

Maeve Binchy was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 28, 1940. She received a B.A. from University College in Dublin in 1960. After teaching at a school for girls, she became a journalist, columnist and editor at the Irish Times. By 1979, she was writing plays, a successful television script, and several short story collections.

Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 20 books including Silver Wedding, Scarlet Feather, Heart and Soul, Minding Frankie, and A Week in Winter. The Lilac Bus and Echoes were made into TV movies, while Circle of Friends, Tara Road and How About You were made into feature films. Her title Chestnut Street is a New York Times Best Seller. She died after a brief illness on July 30, 2012 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-This book continues Binchy's stories set in modern Dublin (Evening Class [1997], Tara Road [1999, both Dell], and Scarlet Feather [Signet, 2002]). In this Dublin of euros and international cuisine, there is nary a leprechaun-or even a kindly priest-in sight. Its inhabitants are proud of their cosmopolitan attitudes, but underlying their lives and choices are strengths of family and friendship, and a loving kindness, that still confirm the outsider's hopeful expectations about traditional Irish culture. Here, Ella Brady, a young woman emerging from a charmed childhood, hits her first major snag in life when her lover, a well-known financier, turns out to be a swindler (this comes as no surprise to readers). When he disappears along with his clients' money, just about everyone in Dublin seems to suffer some loss, but Ella's is also deeply personal. To keep busy, she helps put together a documentary film project centering on Quentins, a famous restaurant that embodies, in its own history, the social modernization and economic progress of the city and its people. With the help and unconditional support of family and friends, Ella sorts out her emotional life, but there is some suspense in the process. Binchy's fans will be gratified and comforted by this paradoxically cozy tale of a painful coming-of-age.-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fans of the bestselling Binchy will be grateful that the basic formula is still intact-decent people pulling through hard times-and that some favorite characters from previous novels reappear: Cathy Scarlet from Scarlet Feather, Nora from Evening Class, Ria from Tara Road and others. When Dubliner Ella Brady's affair with a married financial consultant turns sour-he bilks his clients of their hard-earned money and then hightails it to Spain-she decides to throw herself into something productive: she agrees to help with a documentary about Quentins, a once-modest Dublin restaurant whose increasing success and sophistication over the past 30 years mirrors the changing fortunes of the city itself. Ella collects stories of customers who recall celebrating life's milestones at Quentins. These vignettes (about a man who learns he's to be a grandfather, a girl who finishes school with honors, and other regular folks) are meant to fill out the too-thin tale, but most of them end a little too neatly to be satisfying. Binchy doesn't exactly trade in suspense (can there ever be any doubt that a Binchy heroine will do the right thing? Or that goodness will ultimately be rewarded?), but this novel is more tepid than other works in her oeuvre. Still, readers who love hardworking, honest-living characters with strong values can get their fix here. (Oct. 28) Forecast: Binchy lite this may be, but even so, it is sure to be a holiday favorite. The audio version (from Penguin Audiobooks) will be available simultaneously. BOMC, Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Review

With some familiar characters amid the new, Binchy offers a sweetly affirming-with just enough redemptive vinegar-read in the story of Quentins, a hot Dublin restaurant. Ella Brady first dined at Quentins when she was a poised six-year-old and only child of Tim, who worked for an investment broker, and Barbara, a legal secretary, but in her 20s she met Don Richardson, a handsome financier, noted philanthropist, and married him. Ella wasn't worried about it, as she was badly smitten. But Don was no good-he embezzled his clients' money as well as that of Tim Brady, who'd been impressed with him-then fled to Spain with his family. Determined to pay her parents back what they'd lost, Ella quits her job as a poorly paid teacher and starts tutoring the memorable twins introduced in Scarlet Feather (2001) as well as working at Quentins, and helping filmmaker friends Nick and Sandy. When Ella comes up with an idea that's accepted by the prestigious King Foundation in the US-to illustrate the changes in Ireland by telling the story of Quentins-the story detours into key moments in the restaurant's history: its founding by Quentin Barry, a restaurant employee with big dreams who was helped by an unexpected gift; the hiring as manager and chef of childless couple Brenda and Patrick Brennan; Mon Harris, an Australian waitress, falling in love and marrying a customer; and Nora-the Signora from Evening Class (1997), back from Italy-having her new love celebrated in best Quentins style. Meanwhile, Ella, in New York, meets Derry King, head of the King Foundation, who accompanies her home when she learns that Don has apparently committed suicide-leaving her with his computer, which contains incriminating documents. Ella is soon in danger as Don's henchman stalks her, but handsome Derry helps, as do all the crew at Quentins. A leisurely paced treat, filled with holiday goodwill. Book-of-the-Month Club/Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club main selection

Booklist Review

A much-loved Irish novelist tells, in fictional form, the story of a Dublin restaurant.

Library Journal Review

In Binchy's latest, fans will encounter familiar characters from Evening Class, Tara Road, and Scarlet Feather-which is sometimes a distraction. The novel primarily chronicles Ella Brady and her involvement with Dublin's finest restaurant, Quentins. Ella wants to make a documentary film about Quentins that will capture the dramas revolving around restaurant life. The film's financial backer, Derry King, becomes Ella's suitor after she has a terrible experience with a married, thieving investment advisor. This advisor-and his possible suicide-brings a bit of suspense to an otherwise ordinary tale. Not Binchy's best, this will still certainly be demanded by your patrons. Recommended for all public libraries. [Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and BOMC main selections.]-Carol J. Bissett, New Braunfels P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.