My Year of Binchy – Week 6: Streets Ahead + Ending

Last week, I started taking a time lapse of the time I spend reading outside. So far it’s just sunsets, but if you want to follow me on TikTok to see ‘em, I’m ValleyOfOh. (Big surprise).

Maeve Binchy was “Streets Ahead” of Pierce Hawthorne.
Thursday, February 8
  • Book: “Light a Penny Candle
  • Chapters: 16
  • Location: Front porch, during the sunset, 56 degrees
  • Smoking: King Kong, in an embarrassingly dirty bong (I am normally obsessive about cleaning it, but today, eagerness to read won out.)
  • Playlist: Succession Party, which is a combination between the “Succession” and “Search Party” soundtracks. It’s full of vibes.
  • Did I cry?
    • No, but my gag reflex was activated when I realized that Elizabeth is going to end up with her father in a different font.
    • Okay, yes, but from laughter when I read the phrase “That’s why you’re streets ahead” in this Maeve Binchy book from the 1980s.

The windows are open y’all. I turned off the furnace and am letting this gorgeous house air out. If we did this in Florida, the house would have normalized to the outside temperature within 30 minutes. The Professor Haus? Welp, the windows have been open an hour and the temperature hasn’t changed one bit. We have a lot of windows too.

I’m still bundled up, though cause it’s windy. Let’s see what the girls have for us today.

Another wedding is on the horizon… and there is one thing everyone is wondering – will the long time lover of the married person be okay with it? What a wild situation this is. Like, the character getting married (I’m trying so hard not to spoil anything), went after and got what she wanted, kept it, and then discarded it when it no longer suited her.

That seems like such a foreign concept to me. Like, I feel like there is so much shame in giving up on someone. Because I know deep down we’re all hurt and hurting and have hurt and will hurt. It’s all in the way that hurt manifests to the outward world. Some people (a lot of people who refrain from doing any sort of self reflection) it manifests as anger. Others it manifests in these endless wells of empathy, being able to see the light in literally anyone.

I think that is why I am so drawn to characters that are considered awful people, like my boy Kendall Roy. I can see the glimmer. I know it’s in there and when it comes out it will be beautiful. The hard part is getting people to realize that it exists within themselves. I still struggle with there being any sort of light within me whatsoever. All the time.

Even writing this, my brain is thinking, “who even do you think you are? why do you think you are so important that people want to read all these words about some books you are reading. just read the books and stfu about it already.”

Even when I have friends telling me and showing me that they read and enjoy these words. I tell ya, brains can be a bitch.

This playlist is a good match for this book. And also the weather is stupid gorgeous.

Friday, February 9
  • Book: “Light a Penny Candle
  • Chapters: 17
  • Location: Front porch sunset, somehow it is 62 degrees
  • Smoking: A mashup of King Kong and Cheisel in my freshly cleaned water pipe
  • Playlist: Succession Party
  • Did I cry? Yes, out of pure anger.

Sometimes I am thankful for my memory sieve of a brain, cause I have no idea what happens at the end of this book and I am ALL up in it. I can’t wait to see how this all ends.

Ahhh, this si the first evening it’s been a combo of warm and not-windy and not-wet enough to stay outside for the writing part.

These new twinkle lights really give it a warm glow out here. I love it so much.

Okay, so yeah, I definitely forgot the climax of this book and boy, boy did it make me mad. Like rage mad. It didn’t help that right before I read the climax, I had a moment about the ‘aggressor’ of the climax. I have always had a person like that in my life, in my head, at least for as long as I can remember. Even when I was a wee Jacki.

Then I decided to let that mythical creature in my head go. I had no use for it anymore. And then he did the literal worst thing I could expect him to do. That’s why I got so angry and cried.

I know that the letting go from earlier did *something*, cause I didn’t cry because I put myself into the ‘victim’ character’s shoes, but because I felt her pain. Literally, like a slap in the face that I did not see coming.

I should finish this up tomorrow and I have no idea how it ends. Thanks, brain!

Saturday, February 10
  • Book: “Light a Penny Candle
  • Chapters: UNTIL I FINISH
  • Location: Front porch, sunset, 41 degrees, but windy.
  • Smoking: Same mix as yesterday
  • Playlist: Succession Party
  • Did I cry? Yes, I mean, it’s the end.

OMG, that ending. How did I not remember this? I am legit speechless right now.

No wonder Maeve Binchy got to keep writing books as long as she did.

I honestly didn’t remember devious surprise endings being part of her repertoire, but that is exactly what she just delivered to me.

I definitely can’t say anything without spoiling, but I will leave you with this:

I see you, Elizabeth. Damn, girl.

Up next is “The Lilac Bus”. Here’s the description:

The Journey… Every Friday night a lilac-colored minibus leaves Dublin for the Irish country town of Rathdoon with seven weekend commuters on board. All of them, from the joking bank porter to the rich doctor’s daughter, have their reasons for making the journey.

The Destination…Rathdoon is the kind of Irish village where family histories are shared and scandals don’t stay secret for long. And this weekend, when the bus pulls in, the riders find the unexpected waiting for them…as each of their private lives unfolds to reveal a sharp betrayal of the heart, a young man’s crime, and a chance for new dreams among the eight intriguing men and women on…


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