Tara Road by Maeve Binchy My Review

Tara Road (Oprah's Book Club) Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

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

There was a time in my life I would have turned away from a book because of it's size. This one would have gotten passed because of this size. I'm glad I didn't pass it up.

Maria (Ria) is a very unselfish woman living in Ireland on Tera Road. Her life fell into her hands by the luck of her husband, Danny, and his real estate working with Barney McCarthey. This is a tale of many lies revolving around these men, with wives who turn a cheek to their indiscretions.

Ria is very social and her friends and neighbors play an important role in this well written story. Some of the friends turn to be anything but that by the end though.

Through a chance phone call Ria's life takes a turn for the better. After receiving some very upsetting news from her husband, Ria has the opportunity to leave her troubles behind and spend the summer in America by swapping homes with Marilyn. Marilyn has her own share of heartaches that need to be handled and gladly accepts the house swap for 2 months to escape to a new land as well.

This book was very well written, and caught my interest from the beginning. I can not wait to pick up another book by Maeve Binchy. She is a wonderful author.


Staci said...

Great review!! Wouldn't you love to trade houses and locations with someone else for a few months?

I'm going to have to read Scarlett Feather now!! and of course this one!

Coffee Slut said...

I love anything by Maeve Binchy! I've read this book several times and still find it hard to put down.
Great review!