Five year old Maeve Binchy with sister Joan and cousin Dan circa 1944 courtesy http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/maeve-binchy-my-thoughts-on-ireland-crpdx5tpdcz.
Maeve Binchy, the Irish author of 16 novels about small town life in Ireland, started her career as a teacher of French and Latin. One summer, the parents of a student gave her a free trip to Israel. She spent her days picking oranges and tugging chickens on a kibbutz, and her evening writing letters home to her parents. Her father thought the letters were so eloquently written that he cut off the salutation and sent them to the newspaper where they were published. These letters sparked Binchy's career as a journalist.
Michele Bachmann worked on a kibbutz in Israel in the 1960's just like Maeve Binchy courtesy http://cdn.timesofisrael.com/uploads/2012/08/downloadedfile_0.jpeg/
Binchy went on to write a total of 24 books, 16 of which are novels. Most of her novels dealt with the contrast between rural and urban life, between England and Ireland and between World War II Ireland versus today's Ireland. Ironically, the author ended up marrying an Englishman, Gordon Snell, who was a BBC producer in London. They lived in England for a time and later moved to Binchy's beloved Ireland where Snell became a children's author.
Gordon Snell & Maeve Binchy walk along the sea jetty courtesy http://www.gettyimages.ca/photos/gordon-snell.