Maeve Binchy was born in a small village outside of Dublin, Ireland. She spent her childhood living in Dalkey, an experience she draws on today when creating the rural villages usually at the heart of her novels.
After receiving her B.A. from University College in Dublin, she began working as a teacher. The experience she had while teaching at a Jewish school and on vacation in Israel compelled her to find work on a kibbutz. While abroad in Israel, she wrote weekly letters to her father describing life in a country constantly on the brink of war. When Binchy's father sold one of her letters to The Irish Times for 18 pounds, Binchy, who had been making 16 pounds working at the school, thought that she had truly "arrived."
Since these humble beginnings, Binchy's success has been astounding. She has written three volumes of short stories entitled This Year It Will Be Different, The Return Journey and London Transports, two plays and a teleplay that won three awards at the Prague Film Festival. She is perhaps best known, however, for her bestselling novels Evening Class, The Glass Lake, The Copper Beach, The Lilac Bus, Circle of Friends, Silver Wedding, Firefly Summer, Echoes and Light a Penny Candle. Movie audiences everywhere adored the film version of Circle of Friends, produced by Savoy Pictures, which starred Minnie Driver and Chris O'Donnell.