Maeve Binchy has taken me to Ireland so many times. Finding this posthumously published book thrilled me Chestnut Street. Here's the intro.
It was all the harder because her mother had been so beautiful. If only Dolly's mother had been a round, bunlike woman, or a small wrinkled person, it might have been easier for Dolly, this business of growing up. But no, there were no consolations on that score. Mother was tall and willowy and had a smile that made other people smile too and a laugh that caused strangers to look up with pleasure. Mother always knew what to say and said it; Mother wore long lilac silk scarves so elegantly they seemed to flow with her when she walked. If dolly tried to wear a scarf, either it looked like a bandage or else she got mistaken for a football fan. If you were square and solid and without color or grace, it was sometimes easy to hate Mother.This book is a series of short stories all connected to Chestnut Street. Sometimes the characters appear in each other's stories, but most the time they stand alone.