Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over 20 books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, including Tara Road.
Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish Pen/A. T. Cross Award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012.
Maeve Binchy's The Return Journey contains fourteen short stories steeped in the humourous aspects and poignancy of romance and real life. A secretary's silent passion for her boss meets the acid test on a business trip; a man and a woman's mutual disdain at first sight shows how deceptive appearances can be; an insecure wife clings to the illusion of order, only to discover chaos at the hands of a house-sitter who opens the wrong doors; a pair of star-crossed travellers pick up each other's bags, and then learn when you unlock a stranger's suitcase, you enter a stranger's life.