Tara Road Paperback – 30 Apr 1999
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One assumes that Maeve Binchy's fiction--always on the bestseller list--is sold mainly to women: the broader canvas of politics, business and legal matters don't seem to engage her interest. She's at her best in the intimate minutiae of domestic life--hopes and dreams, matters of the heart--and she's well served by her cousin Kate, who narrates her audio books with immense skill and conviction. Tara Road is in Dublin, where Ria has created an exquisite home for her adored husband Danny and her two children. Her kitchen is a warm, convivial meeting place for family and friends, but Danny seems too busy to enjoy it. To coax him back into the family circle, Ria suggests they have another baby, whereupon he confesses that he's in love with a teenage girl whom he's made pregnant, and with whom he intends to live. Realising that she's been living in a fool's paradise, Ria arranges a house exchange with a New Englander whose marriage is also on the rocks: a month in someone else's life should free them both from their misery. But the reality is more complicated, because the women have not been entirely open with each other. Skeletons emerge from cupboards, and while some characters lose out, others rise like phoenixes from the ashes of their former lives. Welcome to Binchy's variegated world. --Betty Tadman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An irresistible tale (ELLE)
Two women, one from Dublin one from New England, end up on a house swap for the summer and find their lives changed for ever. Another tale with strong female characters and the importance of friendship. As always there are a host of characters to keep the interest going and plenty to make the reader question the nature of relationships (LOVE READING)
A tender novel of the pleasures and pitfalls of friendship, TARA ROAD is an ultra-modern
love story for women, about women, between women that is sure to delight
Engrossing (WALL STREET JOURNAL) See all Product description
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So intimately does Ms. Binchy seem to know her characters it's like she's there, one of them. But instead of adding herself to the mix, she simply observes, as if she were a surveillance camera from one of those Real World shows, only the people she aims her lens at are so much more interesting because, as a writer, Ms. Binchy is able to edit the "tapes" as she sees fit. And what a great editor she is! Her writing is like the best acting; it doesn't emote all over the place, it simply tells the story lets you feel whatever you want (or need) to feel. That's why I love Maeve Binchy's work and what I think makes it (and her) so special.
A final note to Ms. Binchy, if she's reading this: I don't think you've ever written a sequel to any of your books, but perhaps you would consider it now. I adore the fact that you didn't neatly tie up all the loose ends and answer all the unanswered questions and leave us with a pat ending. It's just that I can't bear not to hear from my friends again and besides, I didn't get any of their phone numbers!
First impressions may suggest that Ria is your typical good Irish housewife (I've a cousin just like her) but as the plot progresses she will become a part of your life. I shot out the door from work and rushed home every night until I finished it and spent most of the day pondering what would happen next.
Ria marries first sweetheart Danny, moves into an old battered house on Tara Road and, through Danny's dealings with a local Big Shot in the building trade, they develop the perfect life - perfect kids, perfect house, perfect antiques and perfect friends. Except of course, nothing can be that perfect. All goes awry when Danny hits midlife crisis - I'll spare you the details to avoid spoiling the plot - and Ria, in a fit of pique decides to 'house swap' with Marilyn, an American academic. The two have very different personalities - Marilyn is very private, self-contained and struggling to come to terms with her son's death.
Through Ria's network of friends both their lives are ultimately changed.
One of the things I liked about the book was the wealth of undeveloped opportunities - the relationships one felt sure would develop and didn't, the bitchiness and resentment that might have been expected in view of Danny's behavior, the avoidance of the temptation to tie everything up too neatly at the end. Binchy's ear for dialogue is outstanding - she catches the idiosyncracies of Irish English to perfection. I can't recommend this book highly enough
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Realistic story of family and friends and life we all know and take for granted these days
Binchy spends the first half of the book setting up the background to the...Read more