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....
©1999 Maeve Binchy (P)2010 Audible Ltd
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I was after an aga-saga and came here guided by Maeve Binchy's sales figures- a writer who sells that many copies must be doing something right.
And she does... It's not the plot, which is interesting enough, not the characters, who are not very memorable- the charm lies in the narration- as it so often does with Antony Trollope (though in a different way) One has the feeling that here is a very sensible writer; that one can trust her to steer you through the novel and out again at the other end.... and, as with Trollope, you have to be prepared to take your time...
The publisher's notes on Audible give very little away- really house-swapping only occupies about the last 3rd of the book- and by that time the bulk of the plot is more-or-less all over, bar the shouting- It's basically a tale of middle-class Dublin life and love.
An extra 'edge' is given to the story in that a pall of nostalgia hangs over it- it's a very nineties tale of Dublin in the boom times.
It's beautifully narrated- I went on to have a bit of a craze for Kate Binchy reading Maeve Binchy.
Useful fact- 'Tara Road' was the first book to have a print run of a million copies prior to publication.
"Don't want it to end!"
I like the author, so it a win win when you don't know what you want to listen to.
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