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

Maeve Binchy , Kate Binchy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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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Ria seems to have become quite a hostess, entertaining half the neighborhood, which at first irritates the reserved and withdrawn Marilyn, a woman who has always guarded her privacy.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
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 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maeve Binchy's stories are engaging Jan. 2 2003
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story but ... Dec 31 2002
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Story of a marriage - and a house April 7 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
TARA ROAD opens up with the young Ria, the heroine of our story, going through the early pains of dating, her whole life still in front of her. It soon fast-forwards to her first working experiences, and soon she's introduced to Danny, a new employee at her company, and it is love at first sight. Danny is smart, witty, charming and very good looking. For shy Ria, it is a miracle that he only has eyes for her.
Things seem to go smoothly for Ria and Danny as they get to know each other, and before she knows it, they are getting married. I should reiterate that things SEEMED to be going just fine, but if you read between the fine lines, there is some room for doubt. Ria tends to brush things aside when there is any hint of a problem, and the reader is probably more aware than she is that her life is NOT as perfect as she wants it to be. There are problems brewing, but they do not become apparent to Ria until much, much later.
In the midst of all this, their beautiful home on TARA ROAD is the center of their lives. Danny and Ria focus so much on the house and what it means to them, that soon it seems that their marriage appears to revolve around it. Their lives are centered on the busy life that they make, with friends and family constantly visiting, with the kitchen being the focal point of all visits. Ria spends her days pleasing her family and friends who visit, always baking and cooking. For Ria, this is all part of a happy family, and she cannot imagine any other life.
Ria goes along on her daily routines, and eventually by accident finds out that life is NOT what she had thought it was. Danny was not the perfect husband, and their marriage was not the perfect marriage either. When her world crumples in front of her, she does something absolutely crazy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always a good read by Maeve Binchy
Published 2 months ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
So believable and true to life. Not too many characters to follow..
Published 3 months ago by Ivy Philipps
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
this is right up there with one of my favourite Maeve Binchy novels. couldn't put it down. good story line, great characters. Read more
Published 17 months ago by b author
4.0 out of 5 stars Devotion and Faithlessness in Modern-Day Dublin
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... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Alison S. Coad
5.0 out of 5 stars Tara Road
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.
Published 23 months ago by Josee Deschenes
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING READING
Published on April 18 2012 by MADMAX
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
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!
Published on Jan. 21 2005 by Nikki M
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and light
Nothing earthshattering, just a short, entertaining audio book which can stave off commute boredom. If you like this author or if you like romance novels in general, you'll... Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2003 by Book and Movie Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
Tara Road is the first book by Maeve Bincy that I have read, and I think it is absolutely wonderful. Read more
Published on Dec 12 2002 by RITA
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