Fict Rom Maeve Binchy Tara Road

ISBN 13: 9780752876863

Tara Road

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9780752876863: Tara Road

Ria and Marilyn have never met - they live thousands of miles apart, separated by the Atlantic Ocean: one in a big, warm, Victorian house in Tara Road, Dublin, the other in a modern, open-plan house in New England. her family and friends, while Marilyn's reserve is born of grief. But when each needs a place to escape to, a house exchange seems the ideal solution. speculation as Ria and Marilyn swap lives for the summer ...

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Review:

Oprah Book Club® Selection, September 1999: Against all odds, two newlyweds manage to buy the house of their dreams. In 1982, property speculation is beginning to be a big, big thing in Dublin--and their street is very much in an up-and-coming part of town. "They laughed and hugged each other. Danny Lynch from the broken-down cottage in the back of beyond and Ria Johnson from the corner house in the big, shabby estate were not only living like gentry in a big Tara Road mansion, they were actually debating what style of dining table to buy." But for its various inhabitants, the street is to become a boulevard of dreams--some broken, others created anew. Maeve Binchy has long proved herself a secure hand at multiple story lines, and over the course of 500 satisfying pages she focuses on Ria; her best friend, Rosemary Ryan, a beautiful, endlessly selfish career woman; Gertie, the battered wife of a drunkard; and several other intriguing women, each of whom has secrets not to be shared. There is even an all-knowing fortune teller who early on hints that Ria will travel and start a successful business--two things she knows are definitely not in the offing.

Yet after our supposedly happy housewife and mother of two is confronted by some inexorable home truths, a chance phone call from America will change her life, forcing her to discard her illusions about men, women, and marriage and start all over again. At the same time, the Connecticut caller, Marilyn Vine, has her own lessons to learn when she and Ria swap houses for the summer. Yet there's nothing remotely preachy about this novel--even the bad guys (and yes, they're usually guys) and beautiful mistresses get to maintain some appeal. Instead, Tara Road is a stirring look at the reality behind our consuming fantasies, and a page-turner to boot. --Siobhan Carson

From the Inside Flap:

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.

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