BOOK CLUB: Treasury

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Maeve Binchy passed away in 2012 and all I can say is what an absolute delight it was to read this novel containing 43 short stories.  If you are a fan of Maeve you will know most have been published before but as a special bonus, 5 unpublished stories are included.  

You will be transported on a trip around the world with stories based in Australia, New York, Greece, and Ireland to name a few.  They are all set around Christmas time and the expectations we all have for the festive season and human interactions.  

Christmas means spending more time with family, showing gratitude and loving, sharing, and making people happy but it is not always the case and Maeve has encompassed this in her short stories in a very realistic way. 

Each story is a take on a familiar festive romance trope; love is lost then found, second chance love, new love, friendships being forged, pregnancies, friends to lovers, grumpy people finding joy, exciting travel adventures. They aren’t particularly about Christmas or New Year’s, but the holidays provide the backdrop for the stories and somehow make the romance all that much sweeter. 

I must admit I am not a huge fan of Christmas but I confess I am a Christmas romance addict. I watch Hallmark holiday movies and enjoy Christmas baking shows. I especially love when romance authors have their books turned into films. 

Treasury is warm, heartbreaking, joyful, and generous but most of all comforting. We fall into the glittery red and green spangled world of Christmas with our characters and our hearts are warmed and we’re glad to be in their universe as they find happiness, even if just for a little while.

A book I highly recommend for the Christmas break or a great gift idea. 

Thank you to Beauty & Lace and Allen & Unwin AU for the chance to read and review. 

ISBN: 9781760879228 / Publisher: Allen & Unwin AU

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Treasury. You can read their reviews below, or add your own!

6 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Treasury

  1. Absolutely loved this book and it is just perfect for now. 40 plus short stories so it is easy to pick up and put down, something appreciated when there are so many other things screaming for our time at the moment. The short stories are all Christmas centred one way or another, similar yet very different and all with something to think about.

    I am really pleased I was selected for this book as it has been a “breath of fresh air” needed after such a crazy year. I love Christmas and so many of the stories center on that love of Christmas but for many it is a time to get through as well as a person can as it brings little joy. Some of the stories recognise and acknowledge this feeling.

    It is a book that will be opened again and again, reading a few stories or just one and then returning to it at a later time. An absolute delight that holds something for everyone. Thank you sincerely, Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for my copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. “Treasury” is a collection of short stories of remarkably high standard. I’ve long held that it’s near on impossible for every story of a collection to be equally enjoyed by a reader, but this collection seriously tested that theory.

    Binchy’s understanding of people is what makes this collection so successful. In many stories not very much at all happens, and certainly nothing extraordinary. And yet those same stories have a strong emotional impact, striking a note of humanity that makes you feel deeply for the characters.

    I usually prefer not to read too many short stories at once; normally I’d read a collection of this size over a couple of months. In some ways this collection might have benefited from this approach, because there is a similarity of theme between many of the stories (quite a few set around the Christmas period) that became a little predictable towards the end. However, the stories had a strong enough emotional punch that reading them all together seemed appropriate.

    Most of the stories are fairly short. This economy of prose means no wasted words. Binchy is not a lyrical writer, but nor do her stories feel spare – just perfectly judged. The point of the story is fairly evident, too; you don’t have to dig too far. Only one or two stories really invited further reflection.
    However, the brevity of the stories usually made the emotional impact a little stronger too. Binchy engages you with a character, then gives you an event to upset them, and then whacks you with the denoument – and packs an emotional punch with it.

    I enjoyed this far more than I normally enjoy collections of short stories, and I think many readers of general fiction will also appreciate it. Binchy was an outstanding writer when it came to understanding and reflecting ordinary people, and is more affecting than you might initially expect.

    The consistently high standard of the short stories increases the reader’s enjoyment; there’s not a truly bad story here, although as I noted, some of the themes become a little repetitive towards the end of the collection.

  3. Treasury was a delightful book of short stories. They are set in a variety of locations with different types of everyday characters – no kings or queens but everyday people who you can easily relate to and empathise with. The stories are easy to read and often quite short – but being packed with some little drama, an event, twist or key theme that makes you understand the purpose of the story.

    Many relate to Christmas and families and I think there is a good market for those people who enjoy the festive season. Any more though, and I think it would be too many! However, what a great Christmas gift. There are also tales of friendship and love, often centred around travels. I also enjoyed the eight autobiographical stories at the end.

    The best thing about a collection of short stories is being able to pick up and put down without wondering where you were in the story. If you’re not one who loves Christmas tales, I would recommend reading this collection at leisure so you didn’t get ‘sick’ of those ones . I have to say I did really enjoy them. While some were quite amusing, some left me nodding my head at the conclusion, others left me smiling – and I like that! Thank you Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read Treasury.

  4. I have long been a fan of Maeve Binchy’s writing, I felt she had a way of capturing the essence of characters that made them believable and relatable. It’s been many years since I read one of her books, and after receiving this book I googled and discovered that she passed away in 2012. I blame the fact that I had a newborn at the time for missing the sad news, but it goes some way to explaining why I hadn’t seen any of her books around lately!

    Treasury was apparently originally published in 2011 but it appears its been republished in time for the holiday season, around which many of these short stories are based. I very much enjoyed delving into Maeve’s short stories as I hadn’t read any of the tales in this book, despite many of them having been previously published in other volumes. I took this collection away on holiday with me just before Christmas and it was the perfect beach read, able to be picked up and put down in amongst various other activities.
    Highly recommended if you haven’t read any of Maeve’s short stories before, lots of happy endings, with a few sad ones thrown in too. Thanks to Allen & Unwin and Beauty & Lace for a copy of this book I exchange for my honest review.

  5. I have read a few of Maeve Binchy’s books previously & always really enjoyed her writing. Treasury is no exception. It is a collection of short stories, most of which are centered around a Christmas / Holiday theme. This was the perfect book to read coming up to Christmas & I really enjoyed the stories. It is a book that is easy to put down & pick up continuously while doing other tasks or reading other books as each chapter starts a new story. The only downfall is that some characters I liked straight away & would like to have continued on reading about! An easy, holiday read.

  6. I love getting lost in detailed long books. BUT I have to say that this book of short stories. It arrived just before Christmas which meant I could pick it up and read a well written, easy to read feel good story without the pressure if a whole book. Perfect for someone who doesnt hsve much time or too much on their mind.
    Lots of lovely little feel good stories!

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