20 Authors Like Maeve Binchy (Charming Small Town Books)

Anne Maeve Binchy Snell, an Irish playwright, and novelist established herself as a master of short fiction stories. She quickly became a household name by publishing stories like Deeply Regretted By, Circle of Friends, Tara Road, and Scarlet Feather.

20 Authors Like Maeve Binchy (Charming Small Town Books)

Her stories are characterized by an in-depth and often comical portrayal of small-town life in Ireland, laced with sympathy and unexpected endings, which often turn out surprising.

Her works are not only well-known; a few, like Circle of Friends, Tara Road, and How About You, have been made into movie adaptations, increasing her popularity and showcasing her talent as a novelist and talented playwright. She also appeared in the US market and was featured on the New York Times bestsellers list and in Oprah’s Book Club.

Well known for her certain generosity to other writers and equally acknowledged for her “total absence of malice.” In 2000, she finished third in a poll for World Book Day ahead of veteran and legendary writers like Charles Dickens, Stephen King, and Jane Austen.

We have compiled an albeit non-exhaustive list of authors whose works are similar to Maeve Binchy’s, so if you are a lover and fan of Maeve Binchy, you can’t help but fall in love with these writers.

Diane Hammond

Going to Bend: A Novel

Diane Hammond started writing in Washington, DC, cutting her teeth on short stories. Subsequently, she began attending creative writing classes and joined some ad hoc writing groups. Her first shot at publishing her short stories was in periodicals like Woman’s World, Mademoiselle, Yankee Magazine, and the Washington Review.

Her first novel, Going To Bend, was published in 2003 and was followed closely by her sophomore novel, Homesick Creek, published in 2006. Her third novel, Hannah’s Dream, was released by Harper’s Perennial in 2008. Its sequel, Friday’s Harbor, was released in 2013, and her fifth novel, titled Seeing Stars, was released in 2010.

Her writing style is relatable to the challenges we face every day. Even when she incorporates animals in her stories, she tells them with an unflinching beauty devoid of complexities and eccentricities. 

John Hart

The Last Child: A Novel

If you enjoy the melancholy mystique of Maeve Binchy, try out the abrasive antithesis of John Hart. John Hart is a thriller novel virtuoso. He is an American who has charted his unique path in churning grappling thriller novels. His books are set in North Carolina, where he was born and once lived.

He has scooped two Edgar Allan Poe awards for his novels Down River and The Last Child in 2008 and 2010, respectively. He also won the Barry Award in 2010 for The Last Child and the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger in 2009 for The Last Child. His books are translated into over thirty languages and sold in over seventy countries. Other famous titles of his include Redemption Road, The Hush, and The King Of Lies. 

Rosamunde Pilcher

The Shell Seekers

With over 28 romance novels and several short stories, Rosamunde Pilcher stands out as a prolific writer. In the teething stages of her writing career, from 1949 to the late 1950s, she wrote under the pen name Jane Fraser but subsequently ditched it. 

She is a recipient of many awards, most notably for her esteemed contribution to romance literature; she won the Romantic Novel of the year award from the Romantic Novel Association in 1996. The Guardian describes her work as gritty and more prosaic than romantic. 

Her most well-known work of fiction is her 1987 novel, The Shell Seekers, which focuses on the life of an elderly British lady, Penelope Keeling, who relives her life in flashbacks. The book also mirrors how people lived during the wake of the Second World War in Britain. Some of her other notable works include September (1990), Coming Home (1995), and Winter Solstice (2000).

Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer worked as an editor and a librarian and is known for her book, The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, which she co-authored with Annie Barrows. Though not as well known as others on this list, she was often praised for her writing style and the way it could elicit emotions from her audience. When she wasn’t writing, she usually held seminars for children.

Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel

Annie Barrows worked as an editor and librarian and was famous for writing children’s books. She is the author of The Ivy And Bean Series, a book series from 2003 to 2021 and appreciated worldwide for its novelty and storytelling. Her first novel, The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie, was co-authored with her aunt, Mary Ann Shaffer. Annie was responsible for finishing the book after her aunt fell ill and died before its publication, for which she was duly credited as a co-author.

Michael Frayn

Headlong: A Novel (Bestselling Backlist)

If you genuinely love Maeve Binchy, there’s a huge chance you will love Michael Frayne. Michael Frayne is one of the handful of English writers who have succeeded in both fiction and drama. His writing tilts to the philosophical and critical style. Just like Maeve, who is esoteric in simplicity, Michael Frayne is a little more intellectual and mysterious than the others on this list. His excellent use of words has earned him several awards and captured a lot of readers. 

Click here to immerse yourself in a world of adventure. 

Helen Forrester

A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin

Helen Forrester is the moniker (pen name) of June Huband Bathia. She famously wrote about her life in Liverpool, the great depression, and the world war, which affected her. Her works were known for surprising endings and could help readers with newer perspectives. Some of her notable works include A Cuppa Tea and An Aspirin, Liverpool Daisy, By The Waters of Liverpool, and Mourning Doves. Check her out and compare her books with Maeve Binchy’s.

Joanna Trollope

Parson Harding's Daughter

Joanna Trollope is an English writer, born in 1943, and has been writing fiction for three decades. Her best-known works include The Rector’s Wife, her ground-breaking masterpiece, A Village Affair, and Other People’s Children.

Joanna Trollope has also written under the pseudonym Caroline Harvey. Her novel, Parson Harding’s Daughter, won the Romantic Novel of The Year Award by the Romantic Novels Association in 1980. 

Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic: 25th Anniversary Edition (The Practical Magic Series)

Alice Hoffman is an American novelist —a young adult and children’s writer known for her book Practical Magic which became adapted into a movie of the same name in 1998. She infuses magic realism into her writing, irony, and non-standard romantic relationships.

Some other works of hers include The Dovekeepers and The Book Of Magic. Though less famous than the other entries on this list, she has held her own in storytelling, which makes her unique amongst her peers. 

Cathy Kelly

What She Wants

Born in 1966, Cathy Kelly is one of Ireland’s most successful female writers since Maeve Binchy. In 2001, she received the Romantic Novel of the year award from the Romantic Novels Association.

It is noteworthy that Cathy Kelly once outsold Dan Brown and J.K Rowling in The U.K, and her similar writing style to Maeve Binchy’s, remains a unique art form.

Some of her famous works include Woman To Woman (1997), Never Too Late (1999), What She Wants (2001), and her latest book, Other Women

Sheila O’ Flanagan

Better Together

Born in 1958, Sheila O’ Flanagan writes for the Irish Times. In 2011, she was awarded the Irish Popular Fiction Book of The Year Award. Some of her works include, Better Together, Three Weddings And A Proposal, He’s Got To Go, What Eden Did Next, and Her Husband’s Mistake. You can check out some of her more known and lesser-known works here.

Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden

Kristin Hannah is a best-selling author of over 20 novels. Her international blockbuster, The Nightingale, sold over 4.5 million copies and was translated internationally into over 45 languages. Some of Kristin Hannah’s numerous awards include Goodreads Best Historical Fiction Novel in 2015 for The Nightingale and the People’s Choice Awards for the same novel in the same year.

Her other notable works are Winter Garden, Firefly Lane, The Great Alone, and The Four Winds

Sophie Kinsella

Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, No 1)

Madeleine Sophie Wickham writes under the pseudonym Sophie Kinsella. She is an English writer and a bestselling author. Some of her works include Confessions of a Shopaholic, Love Your Life, My Not So Perfect Life, and Can You Keep A Secret? Her works can be accessed here,  together with her other works not listed. 

Diana Gabaldon

Outlander

Diana Gabaldon is an American writer famous for her Outlander Series of novels. Her Outlander Series focuses on a 20th-century nurse who travels through time to 18th-century Scotland and finds romance with the comely James Fraser. It is a gripping testimony of love in an artistic melding of historical fiction, science fiction, history, and fantasy.

The Outlander book series was so famous that it has an adaptation with four seasons and counting. Some of her works include Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn

Fannie Flagg

Daisy Fay and Miracle Man

Born in 1944, Fannie Flagg wears many hats— an actress, a comedian, and an author. She is most famous for being a panelist in the 1973-1982 game show Match Game and for her 1987 novel Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe. She is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man.

Jojo Moyes

Me Before You (Me Before You Trilogy)

A more famous entry on this list is Pauline Sara Jo Moyes, also known as Jojo Moyes, an English journalist, and an award-winning Romance novelist. She is one of the few novelists who have won the Romantic Novel Of The Year Award from the Romance Novels Association.

Her works have been translated into over 27 languages worldwide, and her books have sold over 45 million copies.

Some of her bestsellers include Me Before You, the touching story of Lou, who becomes a nurse to a paralyzed man and falls in love with him, which was made into an award-winning movie adaptation. Me Before You and its sequel might be one of her most famous works, but you can find the rest of her publications here, including her most recent book, The Girl You Left Behind. 

Tracy Chevalier

A Single Thread: A Novel

Born in October 1962, the British-American writer is best known for her sophomore novel, Girl With A Pearl Earring, which was adapted into a 2003 movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth. She is also the author of the book, A Single Thread which chronicles the life of a single woman trying to find her path in Winchester between the wars.

Danielle Steele

Honor Thyself: A Novel

Danielle Steele needs no introduction. She is the definition of a prolific author, with over 190 books in her repertoire and 140 novels; it is no surprise that she has sold over 800 million copies and is the fourth best-selling fiction writer of all time.

Her masterpieces have been adapted for television, totaling around 22 movie adaptations, and her books have been translated into 43 languages worldwide. She has also received two Golden Globe Nominations for her work as a writer. 

Some of her most stellar pieces include The Reunion – a fascinating historical novel about the travails of World War 2. Others include Honor Thyself, A Good Woman, Without A Trace, The Whittiers, and The High Notes. Are you looking for love, romance, exciting characters, and plot twists? Check Danielle Steele’s works via this link, including her latest publications. 

Catherine Cookson

A Marriage of Scandal

Catherine Cookson has over 104 titles to her name, with book sales topping 100 million in print, making her one of the 20 most-read British writers of all time and one of the most prolific writers on this list. 

Catherine Cookson’s books were often well-researched and have usually caused her substantial inconvenience because she wanted her stories to inspire readers. Some of her books include Daughter of Scandal, A Dinner of Herbs, The Hatmaker’s Gift, A Marriage of Scandal, and The Invitation

Are you looking for scandal, romance, plot development, and comical characters? Find them here

Elizabeth Berg

Open House: A Novel

Elizabeth Berg is an American novelist born in 1948. Her writing career kicked off quite late in her life. In 1993, she won an essay contest, and her writing career commenced. Since then, she has bagged several awards and nominations, despite critics tagging her writing style as sentimental.

She is the author of 18 novels and has over 1.5 million books in print. In 2000, Oprah’s Book Club selected her novel Open House. While some may say her writing is sappy, she knows how best to draw out the emotions of her readers, and you can find some of her latest works here

Conclusion 

Without mincing words, Maeve Binchy is one of the greatest writers ever, and painstakingly picking out similar authors was quite the task but worth it in the end. Reading through these authors’ books will reveal the uniqueness of each writer, and you will notice one common thing through them all, which is evident in Maeve Binchy’s books – the freedom with which the stories are rendered. No pretensions or forced passages, and in that, the beauty of literature lies. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the significant difference between Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy?

Both writers are reminiscent of each other, but Rosamunde Pilcher gravitated toward romantic stories, while Maeve Binchy’s stories were family-themed most of the time.

Did Maeve Binchy write any romance novels?

Yes, she did. Some include Light A Penny Candle (1982), Echoes (1985), and many others.

Which book is Maeve Binchy’s best-selling book?

It is unclear which of her books is best-selling, but she sold over 40 million copies and was awarded several times for her contribution to the art of literature and her genre of books. 

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Daniella Okorobie