Minding Frankie, by Maeve Binchy
Young slacker Noel Lynch is astonished to be named guardian of baby Frankie by his former girlfriend Stella, who is dying of cancer. Fortunately, his American cousin Emily has just come to visit Dublin, and is staying with Noel’s parents, Josie and Charles. Emily is a great listener, and has a knack for giving practical advice. Noel joins AA, starts night school, and learns how to take care of a baby. Noel’s parents and assorted neighbors agree to help with babysitting, including local doctor Declan and his wife Fiona, expecting a baby boy. In night school Noel meets Lisa, a graphic artist who’s fallen in love with a young chef, Anton. Lisa moves in to help babysit, but social worker Moira is suspicious of the whole situation and wonders if baby Frankie wouldn’t be better off in foster care. There are a lot of characters and a number of other plotlines is this heartwarming novel, but they all blend together into a delightful read that’s a perfect stress reliever.