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The Copper Beech Paperback – Jan 2004


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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.



Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Chivers Press (January 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754092763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754092766
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Binchy ( Circle of Friends ; The Lilac Bus ) is a consummate storyteller with a unique ability to draw readers into her tales of Irish life. Here again she mines sources rich in plot and character to produce a captivating narrative. The eponymous copper beech is a huge tree that shades the tiny schoolhouse in the village of Shancarrig. For generations, graduating pupils have carved their initials on the massive trunk, and the book examines what has become of some of them. Though each of the 10 chapters offers the perspective of a single character, Binchy adroitly indicates the ways in which their lives intersect. Thus, the allegedly stolen jewels that are discovered and stolen again in one early chapter become significant in later chapters. Long after two adulterous characters sneak into a Dublin hotel, it emerges that they were spotted by a small soul from Shancarrig, who passes on the information--with unforeseen consequences. A priest's dalliance with the sweet young schoolteacher is shown to have been been suspected by others in the village. The result is a charming and compelling series of interlocking stories about ordinary people who are given dimension through Binchy's empathetic insight. While this book is more fragmentary in structure than some of her previous novels, it should leave Binchy's fans wholly satisfied. BOMC main selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"The Copper Beech is as soothing as a cup of tea."--People. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on Nov. 29 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Maeve Binchy can write a story with the best of them. Her characters come to life and the reader really cares about them, since she writes about their hope and dreams, as well as their activities. In The Copper Beech, Binchy details the lives of different people in a small Irish town. Most of the characters are local children who have carved their names in the copper beech tree outside of their school. She describes the class distinctions in the town, which sometimes separate those who have been schoolmates, after they leave their school days. The final chapter ties the characters together and lets the reader in on what has happened to the people that have been described throughout the book. This is a wonderful read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 3 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I do rather think that the copper beech tree would have succumbed long ago to all those inroads on its bark. The book is that kind of interweaving story that I like so much. And Binchy succeeds in it very well. She makes a small village and its inhabitants come alive. Sex is there, but it's not detailed or obtrusive. And she moves among and between, about and around, her characters well. There is tension built within each chapter - which is about one person - and across the chapters. Her characters are fairly sharp. And everybody does not come to a happy ending. Although I find the marriage of Gloria Darcey a little hard to believe. For all of that, it is a light, enjoyable novel. There was, for all its problems, a simpler life in that Irish village. I sometimes wish for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meleriel Riley on July 9 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Maeve Binchy is one of my favorite authors. To me, her writing is like a mini-vacation from home, and Ireland is definitely a place I'd like to visit. In addition to seeing the sights of her towns and villages, we meet the people, too. And in Binchy's stories, there is all sorts of action: adventure, love, deception, children, marriage, murder and more.
In The Copper Beech, Binchy has given us tastes of the lives of the villagers in Shancarrig, Ireland. Four schoolchildren and the people around them tell their stories, each with their own chapter. There were some chapters I loved, some I drudged through and for that, I would say this isn't my favorite Binchy. But it's still a delight to read and savor!
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Format: Paperback
Maeve Binchy's "The Copper Beech" is set in the small village of Shancarrig, where the small schoolhouse is dominated by a huge old copper beech tree, which over the years has seen generations of children come in and grow up. Junior Assistant Mistress Maddy Ross takes care of the very youngest students, but her true interests lie in the parish rather than the school; young Maura is from the wrong side of the tracks but full of kindness; Leo is the richest girl in town but holds the darkest secret of all; Eddie loves plants and flowers, things a boy shouldn't care about in this insular world; and Nessa is a determined young girl who wants to better herself. How all these children, and others, live and grow up and find their places in life is the heart of the story, and there are many suprises along the way.... As always, I enjoyed Binchy's gentle tales, really a collection of individual stories about each of her characters that are woven together to create a whole portrait of the world of a small Irish village in the 1950s and on. I don't think this is her best work, but it's very much a part of her general oevre, and as such it's a wonderful, quiet read. Recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I discovered Maeve Binchy some years ago :-). Saw Tara Road on the shelves in my favorite book store here in Norway and it called out to me. Bought it, took it home and became an addicted Maeve Binchy fan. Since then I have read most of her books. Not many have been available here in my town in Norway, but I have bought some online and also found a couple at my local library. It was a big surprise though when I some time ago found a used copy of The Copper Bech at a local secondhand book store.
I finished The Copper Beech today, after getting deeply involved in the characters in the book.
The Copper Beech is set in Ireland like most of Binchy's books. Outside a small countryside school stands a copper beech, and once eight children carved their names in this tree. The children come from different backgrouds, what units them is the Shancarrig school where they all have spent an important part of their past. The book tells different stories, all about these kids and their life. It is a book about love and death, about daily life and about extraordinary events. Maeve Binchy is a master to tell a story the way you know it could have happend, her characters could me my neighbours, or yours for that. And at the same time she shows that there are extraordinary stories to be covered everywhere, in everybody's lives.
Though this is not my favorite Maeve Bincy, so far Evening Class holds that possition, I love the book. It has it's place on the shelves in my growing collection of Maeve Binchy books, and passing the shelves glimpsing the books I know I have hours of cozy hours ahead of me if or rather when I want to read them over again. I'm glad I still have some unread Maeve Bincy books to look forward to, Scarlet Feather on top of that list.
Happy reading
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