Like readers all over the world, we at BookPage are saddened by the loss of Maeve Binchy, who died last night at the age of 72 "after a short illness," according to the BBC News.

The Irish author was a particular favorite with our readers, and we received frequent email queries about when her next book would be published. She stayed at the top of her game throughout her 30-year career as a novelist—as this quote from our review of her final novel proves: "There’s a good chance that many readers, like this one, will consider Minding Frankie one of Binchy’s best novels yet."

Here at BookPage, we are especially fond of Binchy because we looked at our 2007 cover featuring her nearly every day.

Like the Guardian's Alison Flood, I came to Binchy in my tween years, during the transitional period between reading kids' books and adult ones. Her books managed to be dramatic and compelling without being salacious or soapy; her characters handled their real-life problems in realistic ways. As she explained to us in 2001, "I don't want heroines who are elegant or wealthy. I want ordinary people," she said. "In my stories, there's no makeover. The heroine does not become beautiful—my God, Miss Smith, you're beautiful when you take off your glasses. You're not changed by any one outer thing, certainly not by one guy swooping in and taking you away."

"A streak of toughness combined with optimism is a good passport through life," Binchy said in that same interview. "The winners are the ones who get on with it."

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