Sat, Dec

Five Days Apart



Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it's a split between close male friends in their 20s. In Chris Binchy's astutely observed American debut, the pair in question is David and Alex, Dubliners whose long bond is tested by romantic rivalry and the strains of encroaching adult responsibilities.

David and Alex are best friends but are as different as night and day. David, though intellectually gifted, is socially ackward, loathes small talk and gets tongue-tied around beautiful women. Alex, however, is smooth, charming and confident-- especially with the ladies. When they spot the beautiful and intriguing Camilla at a party, David retreats and Alex pounces. As Alex and Camilla get closer, David feels angry, hurt and alone, and eventually leaves home in search of a new beginning and a new self. Out from the oppressive shadow of Alex and Camilla's relationship, David flourishes and finds success on his own terms.

However, dispite David's newfound wealth and self-assurance, David can't get Camilla out of his mind and constantly second guesses himself and his decisions: Should he have walked away? Did he give up too easily? Is there still a chance?

Determined to find out where he stands with Camilla, David returns home to confront the love of his life and his former best friend. When love gets in the way of a lifelong friendship, what will the final result be?

The contrast between the two men is perceptively drawn by Binchy, a nephew of Maeve, who proves himself a lucid chronicler of the buddy relationship.



Chris Binchy has worked as an embassy researcher, painter, and hotel manager; trained as a sushi chef; lived around the world from Canada and the United States to Germany; written articles as a restaurant critic from Dublin's Sunday Tribune; and contributed to the Irish Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Independent, Evening Herald, and The Dubliner. His first novel, The Very Man, was published in 2003 and was shortlisted for the Irish Novel of the Year Award. Binchy is also the author of People Like Us and Open-Handed. This is his first book to be published in the United States. A nephew of the author, Maeve Binchy, he lives with his wife and three children in Dublin, Ireland.