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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Review: Tara Road by Maeve Binchy


Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
Unabridged Audio Cassette, 18 hr. 28 min.
Random House Audio
Katherine Borowitz (narrator)
September 2, 1999
★★★☆☆

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Audiobook

Source: Borrowed Audiobook from Library

“New York Times bestselling author Maeve Binchy has captured the hearts of millions with her unforgettable novels. Binchy's graceful storytelling and wise compassion have earned her the devotion of fans worldwide--and made her one of the most beloved authors of our time. Now she dazzles us once again with a new novel filled with her signature warmth, humor, and tender insight. A provocative tale of family heartbreak, friendship, and revelation,Tara Road explores every woman's fantasy: escape, into another place, another life. "What if..." Binchy asks, and answers in her most astonishing novel to date.”

This was my first Maeve Binchy book and I moderately enjoyed it. The setting was Dublin, Ireland, which was beautifully described. Ria and her husband fall in love with the house of their dreams. Miraculously they are able to find the way to afford it, move in, and start a family. Just as Ria thinks everything is coming together, her husband drops a bomb shell on her; he is leaving her. In response to this, Ria decides to take up the suggestion by a woman in America to trade homes for the summer. What will this trade do for the lives of these two women?

I enjoyed the description of the country of Ireland and the careful details of the house on Tara Road. Although this is a romance, it is really about the breakdown of a romance.

While I initially enjoyed the story, I had several problems with it. I feel that only some of the characters were well developed while others were sort of left as incomplete shadows. I had a deep understanding of Ria and really connected with her – although I have had none of her experiences. At the opposite extreme, I could not connect at all with the woman that she trades houses with. I felt that all of a sudden this woman was thrust on the reader without any background story and she was expected to be a large part of the story. Upon the house switching storyline (about halfway through) I lost interest in the book.

I don’t seem to be having much luck in the romance genre, I’m not sure if I will read another one any time soon.

★★★½☆☆

The audiobook version was narrated by a woman with a convincing Irish accent which added to the realistic setting and feel to the story. I would recommend the audiobook to anyone wanting to read this as I think I would have lost interest much quicker if it was a printed copy.

Author Maeve Binchy also has written many other books.  You can find a complete list here. You can visit author’s website for additional information about the book. If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).





Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

3 comments:

  1. I always thought she was general fiction, just because that's where she is always shelved at the bookstores. I don't think I'd ever read it, but I like reading reviews of books like this so I can recommend them (or not). Thanks!

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  2. Great review. I liked the frankness of your review. I do not recall reading anything of hers, I typically stear clear of the romance genre.

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  3. An enjoyable read Tara Road by Maeve Binchy. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

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