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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful romance that will have you in tears!
This is the first Maeve Binchy book I read and it has certainly made me impatient for more. Its not like reading its like watching all the events hapenning right before your eyes. The book tells the story of a young girl, her hopes, dreams and her determination and struggle to succeed. It is a bitter sweet romance that will make you want to reach out and comfort the...
Published on 4 July 2000

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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unusually dark for Maeve Binchy
The village of Castlebay is a tiny little place atop some cliffs on the coast of Ireland. In the summer visitors flock to the little caravan park and the houses for rent, but in the winter the place is deathly quiet. In the late fifties three restless children grow up together in Castlebay: Clare, the daughter of the shopkeeper, who works and works to earn a scholarship...
Published on 28 Dec 2010 by A. L. Rutter


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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful romance that will have you in tears!, 4 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Echoes (Paperback)
This is the first Maeve Binchy book I read and it has certainly made me impatient for more. Its not like reading its like watching all the events hapenning right before your eyes. The book tells the story of a young girl, her hopes, dreams and her determination and struggle to succeed. It is a bitter sweet romance that will make you want to reach out and comfort the character. If you take the time to read this book, you have my word you will not be disapointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Echoes by Maeve Binchey, 3 July 2012
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This review is from: Echoes (Kindle Edition)
I read this book while on holiday and couldn't put it down. I was excited to find out what happens at the end. A good read about Irish life in the sixties. I'd recommend.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unusually dark for Maeve Binchy, 28 Dec 2010
By 
A. L. Rutter "Floor to Ceiling Books" (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Echoes (Paperback)
The village of Castlebay is a tiny little place atop some cliffs on the coast of Ireland. In the summer visitors flock to the little caravan park and the houses for rent, but in the winter the place is deathly quiet. In the late fifties three restless children grow up together in Castlebay: Clare, the daughter of the shopkeeper, who works and works to earn a scholarship to college; David, the son of the doctor, destined to follow in his father's footsteps but dreaming of much more; and Gerry, dark and gypsy-like, and a total heart-breaker. Echoes follows their stories as they intertwine over the next decade - they all manage to break free of the paths set by their parents, but will they ever escape the echo of their past?

I read Maeve Binchy for the comfort - the falling into a different pace of life, where villagers gossip to each other, and often marrying right is the only ambition a girl might have. At the same time as being slightly frustrated at the backwards attitudes on show, I like to reflect on how such a short time ago abortions were completely taboo, women didn't study and classes mattered so much more than they do these days.

Echoes is a different breed of Binchy - rather than the usually uplifting and ultimately hopeful tale she tells, this is a dark and disturbed tale in the most part. The ending is truly tragic and few of the characters are very likable.

I struggled to read to the end - it felt akin to watching Eastenders or Coronation Street (unnecessarily bleak and gloomy). When your escapist go-to comfort read is a little too much like real life, it becomes less escapism and more realism.

Having said that, I enjoyed Binchy's portrayal of life in what seems to be a foreign land. The idea of a village who couldn't accept a priest who had decided to marry; the fact that gay people were referred to in horrified terms; the way that post-natal depression is laughed away (how can any woman be depressed when she has achieved what God intended her to do?) It is almost a form of historical research, since Binchy shows easily the fishbowl view of living in a village.

This particular quote emphasises the attitudes of the time: "Don't boast of it, you little tramp. Don't stand there like a slut in my kitchen and tell me what you were eager for and what you weren't. You've ruined us all in this family. We'll be the laughing stock of the place - marrying into the Powers no less. Do you think that Mrs Power is going to let the likes of you cross her doorstep? Do you think that woman is going to let her son, with the fine education he has, marry a girl from a shop in Castlebay?"

As I said, there are very few truly likable characters - even the best of them have moments where you wish you could throw the book across the room because of their manners, or beliefs, or actions. I never like adultery in a book, and the occurrence of it in Echoes is particularly heart-breaking, which made it very hard to endure.

I wasn't a fan of the story. I enjoyed the writing and enjoyed the historical relevance of the novel, but the actual plot and characters let Echoes down in a big way. If you're going for a Maeve Binchy novel for the comfort, I would suggest either Circle of Friends or Firefly Summer. If you do happen to like dark and bleak sagas with a heavy dose of tragedy, then this should prove very satisfactory.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Echoes, 16 Oct 2008
This review is from: Echoes (Paperback)
I think the great thing about Binchy is her unpredictable endings, this is no exception. Again Binchy gives a great insight to Irish life and the witty Irish attitude!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Binding Ties, 3 Sep 2013
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Echoes (Paperback)
An excellently told Irish saga-ette, just what you need on a cold night in with a nice glass of something. You'll get totally hooked on this, though, nothing will distract you.

Maeve Binchy does what she does best here: tells an engagingly interwoven story about the lives and careers of a couple of children from Castlebay. In the 1950s boys went into good, solid professions like their fathers and girls stayed at home and got married. Clare is the one who's not going to settle for that, it's secondary school and university for her, even if that means secret studying with her teacher and fighting the pressure to help run the family grocer's shop.

All goes swimmingly as far as university, but then fate kicks in and life takes a more traditional turn - marriage and children.

The author explores the tensions within families in a small community and shows that traditions may still assert themselves in spite of every effort to escape them.

Castlebay almost becomes a character itself: head of a family over which it exerts control. It is so recognisable of those growing seaside resorts of the 50s and 60s, as well as the type of place where everyone knows everyone else's business and each type fits in somewhere.

A good relaxing read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maeve Binchy book "Echoes", 12 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Echoes (Hardcover)
Echoes is another great fine book by the late great Maeve Binchy with believeable characters and a main story supplemented with many well connected strands. Well worth the modest price and will be read over and over again - the litmus test of a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read - one of her best, 9 Dec 2009
By 
Mrs. R. M. Lee (Berkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Echoes (Paperback)
Echoes and The Glass Lake are my favourite Maeve Binchy books. I love the warmth. I love the way she tracks changes in Irish society. Any social historian interested in Ireland could read her books in sequence and find out a great deal. Earlier books, like Echoes etc much better than the later ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good Binchey read, 30 Sep 2009
This review is from: Echoes (Paperback)
I have read many of Maeve Binchey's books over the last 5 years. This is another in a long line of substantial stories, describing the life of a small Irish town. Hopes and fears, success and failure, happiness and sadness, it's all there. A great insight to fifties and sixties Ireland
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5.0 out of 5 stars I thorough enjoyed it., 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Echoes (Kindle Edition)
As always Maeve is on top form. A lovely holiday read. I thorough enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love her books, 23 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Echoes (Paperback)
Added to my collection and read for the 3rd time. Love all her work. It's like catching up with an old friend.
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Echoes by Maeve Binchy
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