Minding Frankie gave me my much needed taste of Ireland.
Set in the suburbs of Dublin. Maeve Binchy takes the old adage, "It takes a village to raise a child" and turns it in to a heartwarming novel about young Frankie. Within a few minutes of her birth, Frankie's mother dies of a horrible illness. Frankie is the result of a one night stand. Her father, Noel, is an alcoholic, ill-equipped to raise a baby girl.
He has a "Village" to help him. There is his cousin, Emily from America, a true guardian Angel moves into his little apartment to help with Frankie's care. There is Malachy, Noel's AA sponsor, he tries to keep Noel on the straight and narrow. There is Declan and his wife. Declan is a neighbor and friend, as well as being a doctor, to Noel and Frankie. And there is Lisa, a classmate of Noel's who needs him and Frankie just as much as they need her. These are just a few of the Villagers, that together, help Noel in raising Frankie. But is it all enough to keep that wretched social worker, Moira from taking Frankie and giving her to the first "traditional" family that comes along?
I really enjoyed Minding Frankie. The sense of community and support is evident in each page. Noel's development from beginning to end was phenomenal. He came a long way in his personal growth, but it wasn't without troubles. That made it realistic enough to really just suck me into the story. Fans of Maeve Binchy, heck, fans of a good story, will love Minding Frankie.