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Tara Road: Complete & Unabridged [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Maeve Binchy , Kate Binchy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $10.94  
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Audio, CD, Audiobook CDN $26.77  
Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, June 1999 --  
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Book Description

June 1999
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Ria seems to have become quite a hostess, entertaining half the neighborhood, which at first irritates the reserved and withdrawn Marilyn, a woman who has always guarded her privacy.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.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Ria Lynch is a charming woman who seems to have everythingAa 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.ABarbara Valle, El Paso P.L., TX
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 8 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So believable and true to life. Not too many characters to follow..
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book May 8 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this is right up there with one of my favourite Maeve Binchy novels. couldn't put it down. good story line, great characters. people always get what they deserve in Maeve's stories.
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By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Tara Road Dec 2 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting book. At first it took me some time to really get in the book, but then you don't want to stop reading it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING READING April 18 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 502 pages and I still want more April 4 2003
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book Jan. 21 2005
By Nikki M
Format:Audio Cassette
The characters are so rich and life like. I couldn't get enough, even though I was sleep deprived from staying up late to read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tara Road Feb. 21 2003
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 na├»vet├ę 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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