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. Two more unlikely friends would be hard to find: Ria's life revolves around her family and friends, while Marilyn's reserve is born ...
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. Two more unlikely friends would be hard to find: Ria's life revolves around 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. Along with the borrowed houses come neighbours and friends, gossip and speculation as Ria and Marilyn swap lives for the summer ...
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At my local book club, my mind was set on reading something else, until I spotted this book on top of some others on a shelf.What initially attracted me to it was the cover. I was disappointed to find that there was no synopsis, but I decided to give it a try. At first, I thought I had made a mistake - I found that it dragged in the beginning - but somewhere near the middle, the story started to pick up, and I found it hard to put down! I loved the characters, especially Ria's son Brian and the twists and turns - I never suspected Ria's friend Rosemary's affair with her husband! All in all, it was very enjoyable; I was even sad when I finished it because I didn't want it to end : )
May 24, 2007
Full of People!
The book had so many great characters. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to keep them all straight, but they were so interesting that they became "friends".
Publishers Weekly, 1998-12-21 In her latest engaging novel, prolific Irish author Binchy returns to the notion of sea change, addressed in her early work Light a Penny Candle (1983), which chronicled the story of an English girl during WWII who goes to live in Ireland. Here, two women who are strangers to each otheræone American, one Irishætrade houses for a summer, each to assuage a terrible loss. Ria, happily married to handsome, prosperous (if slick) real estate developer Danny Lynch, lives in a beautiful old home on Dublin's Tara Road, an enviable address. For nearly 20 years, such world as matters to Ria Lynch congregates in her kitchen: her mother and sister, her two children, many friends, kids' chums and Danny's associates, a whole bright web of connection. When Danny, out of the blue, announces he's leaving home to live with his young pregnant mistress, Ria's life explodes, and the fallout touches everyone. In coping with this shattering blow, Ria agrees to an offered house trade with an American woman who once had real estate dealings with her husband. Ria will live two months in suburban Connecticut, while American Marilyn Vine will come to Ireland to absorb (or evade) her own sorrowæher son's recent death. Once installed on Tara Road, however, the uptight, remote Marilyn is drawn into Ria's neighborhood dramas; Ria brightens Marilyn's American life as well. While the novel asks questions about marriage (how can basically decent people shred their families, hopes and assumptions, and somehow reconstitute their lives?), the real roots of the story lie in female friendship as a source of strength. The pleasures Binchy offers readers are her lively depiction of social connections, feuds and friendships; secrets, lies, alliances, in short, the thicket of Irish everyday life. The American scenes and characters pale by contrast. As usual, all the characters are basically decent people struggling through the morass of daily existence. While the beginning is slow and the end overtidy, once into the heat of the story, readers will find it a charmer. Major ad/promo; BOMC selection; author tour; 20-city TV satellite tour; simultaneous BDD Audio release. (Mar.) FYI: Tara Road is #1 on the London Times bestseller list.
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