This is the kind of story that if narrated as it unfolded would have been too sad. The way it was done was exquisite. An amazing life story told in bits as an old woman remembers back over her life. All of it could be gut wrenching, but the way the story is told makes it easier to hold. It reminds me of the book "English Patient" - another sad story told in poetic prose and a light-handed manner.I liked learning about that period in Ireland - had never thought about how it would affect individuals. I also liked the surprises in the book. You don't expect them.But best of all is the the way the words read by Wanda McCaddon just roll over me. It took the first chapter or two to fully understand her lovely Irish accent - and then it really made the story come to life. I've been recommending this to all my friends.
This is not an easy read, but I was glad to do it and sometime want to listen again. The use of language is wonderful and I loved the accent of the reader. Some of the descriptions go on and on, and sometimes it is hard to follow - but overall it is lush, funny and very creative. I found that the wikipedia synopsis was helpful to understand the historical significance.
My husband read it and I listened to it, and we both thought it was a great book.
Maeve Binchy is a great story teller. This book starts with a controversy in a small town in Ireland: whether or not to build a bypass road through a beloved local shrine. Then we get to hear the voices of the townspeople, both for and against.
An especially nice storytelling technique used in this book is starting a story as told by one person, and then picking up the story by another person with a little different perspective. We learn of the secrets, longings, successes and losses of all these lives that interweave at various points and in various times.
I loved everything about this book and found it hard to stop. It is about two women coming to terms with major changes in their lives and finding forgotten parts of themselves in places and ways they hadn't expected. An enchanting listen, well performed.I can't wait to try other books by Binchy.
I would recommend reading, not listening, to this book. That way you can skim through parts. I may not be the intended audience and didn't like the evangalistic approach or demonizing work. I enjoy the work I do, AND I'm looking forward to retirement.
This book really did get me thinking about retirement in a different way and I'm glad I stuck it out. But I found it painful to get through. I did like the second half better than the first half, when he gave practical suggestions.
The excited tone made this book hard to tolerate for me. I nearly gave up multiple times, and I really did pull the plug on my ipod after listening to the first 20 minutes.
I was entralled from the beginning. The characters were so vivid and alive. It was a captivating story with a very interesting historical backdrop. I learned while I was entertained. I listen while commuting and this is one of my favorites.
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