The Lilac Bus

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The Lilac Bus
Author Maeve Binchy
Country Republic of Ireland Ireland
Language English
Genre Novel
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Preceded by London Transports (1983)
Followed by Echoes (1985)

The Lilac Bus is a collection of eight interrelated short stories by the writer Maeve Binchy, first published in 1984. The stories were republished by Delacorte Press in 1991 together with the earlier 4-story collection, Dublin 4, under the title The Lilac Bus: Stories.

Plot summary[edit]

Set in the 1960s and 1970s,[1] the book follows a group of seven people from the fictional village of Rathdoon in West Ireland, who all live in Dublin and return home each weekend on a lilac-colored minibus.[2] Each chapter focuses on a different character, with events described in a previous chapter making their reappearance with new repercussions.[2]


The book explores how 20th-century characters with strong Roman Catholic values cope with problems such as alcoholism, homosexuality, unwanted pregnancy, infidelity, drug use, divorce, birth control, and abortion.[2]

TV movie[edit]

The book was made into a television movie in 1990, directed by Giles Foster and starring Con O'Neill, Stephanie Beacham, and Beatie Edney.[3]


  1. ^ "The Lilac Bus Book Review Summary". Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Kane, John Kenny (8 December 1991). "Dublin in the Rear-View Mirror". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Lilac Bus (1990)". Internet Movie Database. 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.