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Tara Road Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, Sep 4 2007

Length: 658 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled


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Product Description

From Amazon

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 Library Journal

Abandoned by her husband, a Dublin woman named Ria meets American Marilyn via the phone, and they end up swapping houses?with surprise results.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1538 KB
  • Print Length: 658 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Oprah's Book Club edition (Sept. 4 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000W969EK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: School & Library Binding
I loved this story, and I wish I could keep on living with them on Tara Road. Ria is exceptionally sweet, her desire to please makes her a tad oblivious. The author doesn't have to spell it out, we're all suspicious of Rosemary. But because this is Ria's story, we remain unknowledgeable of any wrongdoing until Marilyn enters the scene. When Ria threatens Danny with a fork in Colm's restaurant, I was really hoping she'd go through with it. Poke his eye out, Ria!
All the characters are beautifully well-rounded, but there are quite a few of them. For some reason, I kept forgetting who Hilary was...! I went and bought this book, and hope to give it to my mother (though I know it'll take her eons to finish). So I'm here now to encourage you to read it right now, and share the story with me!
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Format: School & Library Binding
Having read several of Binchy�s works I went into Tara Road with an attitude of familiarity. So I, from the start, paid particular attention to the character developments of Nora and her young daughters, Hilary and Ria. The effort was certainly worthwhile. In the writer�s usual flow, giving us peaks of growth stages, she introduces us to another portion of the Dublin area and a diversified cross section of endearing and frustrating characters. I was suspicious of Rosemary from the beginning and Danny was the spark that Ria�s naïveté required. ... The humiliation of Ria�s attempt to hang on to what was already gone brought tears of identification to my eyes. Mona�s eventual reward was sweet without vindictiveness and Gertie�s loss was certainly her gain. Brian was my middle son�s irritating and adorable personality. And Colm�s last page plans leaves such hope in the end. Before I was anywhere near the middle of the book I had definite hopes and fears for the cadre of friends and foes I had come to know, know on a personal level.
If there is any criticism on my part it is that the Americans sound rather English to me, but being a Westerner, maybe New Englanders really do sound that foreign. Nonetheless, a good read, a woman�s story with insight and generosity.
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Format: School & Library Binding
I like Maeve Binchy, she tells great stories. Her characters are believable, engaging, and flawed, which makes them all the more endearing and relatable (is that a word? :-D). I have read most of her novels, and short stories, and she certainly knows how to get to the heart of human behaviour. Her character builds and plots are a bit "fluffy", but this just makes it really easy and fast to read her stories.
The one flaw I find in Ms. Binchy's writing is the fact that her American characters' speech and thoughts often make them sound as if they were Irish. Which they are not supposed to be.
I think this could be easily solved by having a North American do a quick dialogue edit for her of her North American characters, so they'll ring true. Sometimes you have to backtrack your reading to see who is speaking, which would not be necessary if they spoke the way real people do. Here's an example:
(p. 351) - conversation between two Americans, Greg and Marilyn:
'Anyway, she seems to be getting on very well, she's cooking in John and Gerry's a couple of hours a day.'
'She's not!'
'Yes. Isn't she amazing? And Henry told me that he and Heidi were at a dinner party round there ...'
'Round where?'
'In the house. In Tudor Drive. There were eight of them apparently and ...'
'In our house? She had eight people in our house? To dinner?'
'Well, she knows them all pretty well now. Carlotta comes in for a swim every morning, Heidi's round there for coffee after work. It didn't take her long ...'
'It did not,' said Marilyn grimly.
This isn't really the way Americans speak. They don't say "round" for "around"; they don't say "in" someone's workplace, but rather "at"; and they never refer to houses by saying "In+the name of the street address".
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Format: School & Library Binding
... a little long.
This story of two women swapping houses and thus learning much over the course of one summer about themselves is really quite good. You find yourself cheering for the ladies as you read.
However, the story takes quite a while to get going. But once you start reading it, you get so attached to some of the characters, mainly Ria in my case, that you bear through the longer bits because you just have to know what happens in the end.
Great main character, nice feel-good story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "Tara Road," Maeve Binchy introduces us to Ria, a young Irish woman who falls in love with and marries a handsome real estate developer whose business dealings may not be quite as above-board as she believes; and Marilyn, an American woman who is consumed by a grief that is so private that she cannot bring herself to share it with anyone, not even her faithful and devoted husband. When life circumstances change for Ria, she flees to Marilyn's house in small-town Connecticut for a summer, while providing Marilyn with a home in Tara Road in Dublin where she too can deal with her situation. The two women lead very different lives, but the ways in which each is touched and touches the lives of others reveal them to be far more similar than they first seem.... I've fallen in love with Maeve Binchy's work over the past couple of months, and "Tara Road" is no exception to that love. I think this is the earliest of Binchy's books that I've read so far, but all of her stylistic and thematic tropes are in place here, including a large cast of characters whose interactions, while appearing gentle in the storytelling, reveal a great deal of stark and unhappy human behaviour that reflects, in the end, the real world in all its messiness. I find myself slowing down when I read these books, because long as they are ("Tara Road" is some 639 pages), I never want them to end! Recommended.
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