Summary and book reviews of Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

Tara Road

by Maeve Binchy

Tara Road
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  • First Published:
    Sep 1999, 502 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2000, 502 pages

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Book Summary

A moving story rendered with the deft touch of a master artisan - utterly beautiful, hauntingly unforgettable, entirely original, and wholly enjoyable.

With each new book, Maeve Binchy continues a remarkable progression of sales and audience growth, reaching fans of all ages and backgrounds with her matchless wit, warmth, and sheer storytelling magic. Tara Road, her first full-length novel since The Glass Lake, again shows her incomparable understanding of the human heart in the tale of two women, one from Ireland, one from America, who switch lives, and in doing so learn much about each other, as well as much about themselves.

Ria lived on Tara Road in Dublin with her dashing husband, Danny, and their two children. She fully believed she was happily married, right up until the day Danny told her he was leaving her to be with his young, pregnant girlfriend. By a chance phone call, Ria meets Marilyn, a woman from New England unable to come to terms with her only son's death and now separated from her husband. The two women exchange houses for the summer with extraordinary consequences, each learning that the other has a deep secret that can never be revealed.

Drawn into lifestyles vastly differing from their own, at first each resents the news of how well the other is getting on. Ria seems to have become quite a hostess, entertaining half the neighborhood, which at first irritates the reserved and withdrawn Marilyn, a woman who has always guarded her privacy. Marilyn seems to have become bosom friends with Ria's children, as well as with Colm, a handsome restaurateur, whom Ria has begun to miss terribly. At the end of the summer, the women at last meet face-to-face. Having learned a great deal, about themselves and about each other, they find that they have become, firmly and forever, good friends.

A moving story rendered with the deft touch of a master artisan, Tara Road is Maeve Binchy at her very best--utterly beautiful, hauntingly unforgettable, entirely original, and wholly enjoyable.

Excerpt
Tara Road

Ria's mother had always been very fond of film stars. It was a matter of sadness to her that Clark Gable had died on the day Ria was born. Tyrone Power had died on the day Hilary had been born just two years earlier. But somehow that wasn't as bad. Hilary hadn't seen off the great king of cinema as Ria had. Ria could never see Gone With the Wind without feeling somehow guilty.

She told this to Ken Murray, the first boy who kissed her. She told him in the cinema. Just as he was kissing her, in fact.

"You're very boring," he said, trying to open her blouse.

"I'm not boring," Ria cried with some spirit. "Clark Gable is there on the screen and I've told you something interesting. A coincidence. It's not boring."

Ken Murray was embarrassed, as so much attention had been called to them. People were shushing them and others were laughing. Ken moved away and huddled down in his seat as if he didn't want to be seen with her.

Ria...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

USA Today

Tara Road is good storytelling...Binchy's books are big, her boys are backsliders, her heroines are spirited.

Wall Street Journal

Engrossing...hard to put down...a saga of love, sex, money and intrigue.

The New York Times

A remarkably gifted writer.

The New York Times

A remarkably gifted writer.

The Washington Post

Reading one of Maeve Binchy's novels is like coming home.

Wall Street Journal

Engrossing...hard to put down...a saga of love, sex, money and intrigue.

Reader Reviews

~*Rachel*~

Tara Road was an AMAZING book
Maeve Binchy has captured the timeless struggles of modern mom and the selfishness of men and put it into an amazing book of hardship and change. This is one of my all time favorites!!

Betül

It makes you read it all the time till you finish.

Judy Harrington

This was my first book read by me by Maeve Binchy and I am anxiously awaiting the reading of many more. She is the most wonderful author and really draws one into the complex lives of her characters.

Rosamond Rudy

I loved Tara Road. Like all of Maeve Binchy's books , I read it every spare minute that I had and I
was sorry to come to the end. I am anxious for Maeve Binchy's next book. She is a wonderful









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