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Tara Road | [Maeve Binchy]

Tara Road

When two unhappy women switch homes for the summer, there are extraordinary consequences, and each learns that the other has a deep secret that can never be revealed. At the end of the summer, when the women at last meet face-to-face, they find that they have become, firmly and forever, good friends.
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Publisher's Summary

Ria lived on Tara Road in Dublin with her dashing husband, Danny, and their two children. She fully believed she was happily married, right up until the day Danny told her he was leaving her to be with his young, pregnant girlfriend. By a chance phone call, Ria meets Marilyn, a woman from New England unable to come to terms with her only son's death and now separated from her husband. The two women exchange houses for the summer with extraordinary consequences, each learning that the other has a deep secret that can never be revealed.


Drawn into lifestyles vastly differing from their own, at first each resents the news of how well the other is getting on. Rita seems to have become quite a hostess, entertaining half the neighborhood, which at first irritates the reserved and withdrawn Marilyn, a woman who has always guarded her privacy. Marilyn seems to have become bosom friends with Ria's children, as well as with Colm, a handsome restaurateur, whom Ria has begun to miss terribly. At the end of the summer, the women at last meet face-to-face. Having learned a great deal, about themselves and about each other, they find that they have become, firmly and forever, good friends.

Check out more selections from Oprah's Book Club.

©1999 Maeve Binchy; (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • An Oprah Book Club selection.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (826 )
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4.2 (317 )
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4.4 (308 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Victoria west roxbury, MA, USA 01-23-06
    Victoria west roxbury, MA, USA 01-23-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "7/8ths great"

    I was riveted by the characters and plot in this book until about the last 1/8th of the book. The ending was contrived, predictable and downright corny. It's still a very good read, just not all that satisfying in hindsight.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel United States 09-05-05
    Rachel United States 09-05-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tara Road"

    Excellent read. Loved the narrator. So sorry to see it end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kutlu17 Albuquerque 03-08-04
    kutlu17 Albuquerque 03-08-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    "Couldn't wait to go to the gym!"

    I listen to audio books at the gym. I kept staying on the treadmill 10, 20 more minutes so I could listen to more of this truly touching and captivating book. I identified with each character in a different way.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Uxbridge, MA, USA 01-21-04
    Susan Uxbridge, MA, USA 01-21-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    3
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    "Wonderful!"

    One of the most beautiful books I've ever "read". Totally human and real, the author makes us see the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the human condition. The Narator has a beautiful voice and she was very easy to listen to. A wonderful way to spend quiet time. Get this book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Md, MD, USA 12-22-03
    Pamela Md, MD, USA 12-22-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Making good friends"

    The characters in this book were so well developed that I felt like I was losing good friends when it ended. I loved this book so much that there were times I couldn't get out of the car - I didn't want to book to ever end. This was the best book I have ever listened to and I hope that there is a follow on. I have to know what happens to everyone!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Rocklin, US, Canada 05-05-09
    Rebecca Rocklin, US, Canada 05-05-09
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    "Poor audio quality"

    The audio quality of this audiobook is unsatisfactory. It constantly changes from what seems to be different recording sessions. It is tinny, muted and all places in between. Some better, some very bad and sound like they were recorded in a metal box with varying numbers of socks over the microphone on any given day. Volume is too low and if you use iTunes to adjust the volume in the "Options" the sound gets distorted. In parts there is a second delayed track of the audio faintly heard in the background. One chapter has about 15 minutes of audio that fluctuates in volume every 5 seconds or so, up and down. Its horribly tedious to listen to.

    The poor audio quality is even more disappointing because the narrator does an excellent job. I'd give her 5 stars. She has a warm voice with an Irish accent. This is perfect because the main characters are Irish and it is placed in Dublin. She has an enjoyable voice, she doesn't rush the story and allows for pauses in the appropriate points. Many narrators don't do this and it bothers me. I rarely needed to rewind. That is refreshing. She also does not try to do "voices" that sound ridiculous.

    The book itself is excellent. I am a big Maeve Binchy fan and this story is superbly told. Ms. Binchy's ability to tell stories of human experience is fantastic. I have been through similar life experiences and Ms. Binchy gets so many of the nuances perfect.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Algonquin, IL, United States 05-30-07
    Kim Algonquin, IL, United States 05-30-07 Member Since 2006
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    "One of the best..."

    I finished this book just 2 hours ago and came straight in to search for another Binchy. I want these characters to be real and I want to know what happens next. I am praying for a sequel! One of the best books I have ever read.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 12-09-12
    Robin 12-09-12

    Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "good binchy, nice narration"

    i personally preferred evening class, nights of rain and stars, circle of friends. however, still a good listening choice by a favorite author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brianne 11-21-12
    Brianne 11-21-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Enjoyable Story and great for a book club!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it is a book that is perfect for a book club read or to debate over with a friend.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tara Road?

    The entire book made you feel like you were in on a dirty little secret that you never quite got off your chest. That was both great and frustrating about being the listener. You were happy yet wanted something big to happen. It was thought inspiring.


    Any additional comments?

    I tend to like to have resolution when I am done reading or listening. This book offers a few areas that make you wonder what happened. But I do believe that is the science of the writing as well, to make you fill in some of the blanks with your own perspective. Which is why this is a great group read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Penney Florida 07-22-11
    Jeanne Penney Florida 07-22-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really enjoyed this one"

    I have read a few of Maeve Binchy's books and found this one really drew me in. It kept me coming back and up too late a few nights. I really found myself silently cheering for several of the characters and she truly painted a picture in my mind of what it would be like to live on Tara Road. It will keep you wondering and and comparing the characters to people in your own life.........

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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