Maeve Binchy was born and educated in Dublin. She is the bestselling author of The Return Journey, Evening Class, This Year It Will Be Different, The Glass Lake, The Copper Beech, The Lilac Bus, Circle of Friends, Silver Wedding, Firefly Summer, Echoes, Light a Penny Candle, and London Transports. She has written two plays and a teleplay that won three awards at the Prague Film Festival. She has been writing for The Irish Times since 1969 and lives with her husband, writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell, in Dublin.
Ria Lynch is a charming woman who seems to have everythingÄa great marriage, family, and a beautiful home in Dublin. The bottom drops out of her world when her handsome husband leaves her for his young, pregnant girlfriend. Three thousand miles away in Connecticut, Marilyn is trying to cope with the death of her beloved teenaged son. The two women exchange houses and, in a sense, experience a summer that gives each a new perspective and begins the complex processes of healing. Binchy (Evening Class) is a master at drawing readers into her beguiling domestic romances. The characters are distinctly and vividly drawn, and there's even a fortuneteller who appears from time to time in the women's lives to add a few wisps of magic. The Irish voice of Terry Donnelly is a beautiful match to the story's location and strong characters. Donnelly is especially skilled at interpreting the voices of the several children who live at Tara Road. Though some of the novel's pacing is lost in the abridgment, this is still a fine production and sure to be popular with listeners.ÄBarbara Valle, El Paso P.L., TX Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
In her latest engaging novel, prolific Irish author Binchy returns to the notion of sea change, addressed in her early work Light a Penny Candle (1983), which chronicled the story of an English girl during WWII who goes to live in Ireland. Here, two women who are strangers to each other‘one American, one Irish‘trade houses for a summer, each to assuage a terrible loss. Ria, happily married to handsome, prosperous (if slick) real estate developer Danny Lynch, lives in a beautiful old home on Dublin's Tara Road, an enviable address. For nearly 20 years, such world as matters to Ria Lynch congregates in her kitchen: her mother and sister, her two children, many friends, kids' chums and Danny's associates, a whole bright web of connection. When Danny, out of the blue, announces he's leaving home to live with his young pregnant mistress, Ria's life explodes, and the fallout touches everyone. In coping with this shattering blow, Ria agrees to an offered house trade with an American woman who once had real estate dealings with her husband. Ria will live two months in suburban Connecticut, while American Marilyn Vine will come to Ireland to absorb (or evade) her own sorrow‘her son's recent death. Once installed on Tara Road, however, the uptight, remote Marilyn is drawn into Ria's neighborhood dramas; Ria brightens Marilyn's American life as well. While the novel asks questions about marriage (how can basically decent people shred their families, hopes and assumptions, and somehow reconstitute their lives?), the real roots of the story lie in female friendship as a source of strength. The pleasures Binchy offers readers are her lively depiction of social connections, feuds and friendships; secrets, lies, alliances, in short, the thicket of Irish everyday life. The American scenes and characters pale by contrast. As usual, all the characters are basically decent people struggling through the morass of daily existence. While the beginning is slow and the end overtidy, once into the heat of the story, readers will find it a charmer. Major ad/promo; BOMC selection; author tour; 20-city TV satellite tour; simultaneous BDD Audio release. (Mar.) FYI: Tara Road is #1 on the London Times bestseller list.
"Her best work yet . . . Tara Road is like a total immersion in a colorful new world, where the last page comes too soon."--Seattle Times
"An irresistible tale."--Elle "Engrossing."--Wall Street Journal "A tender novel of the pleasures and pitfalls of friendship Tara Road is an ultramodern love story for women, about women, between women that is sure to delight."--Newsday "Difficult to put down!"--Denver Post "One of Binchy's best."--Kirkus Reviews