Not knowing which faction to favor, Father Flynn listens to all those caught up in the conflict, and these are the voices we hear in the stories of Whitethorn Woods: men and women deciding between the traditions of the past and the promises of the future, ordinary people brought vividly to life by Maeve Binchy's generosity and empathy, and in the vivacity and surprise of her storytelling.
Binchy is at the very top of her form in this irresistible tale.
©2006 Maeve Binchy; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"Binchy deliver[s] a panoply of richly drawn first-person characters....[She] takes it all in and orchestrates the whole masterfully." (Publishers Weekly)
"Binchy focuses her prodigious talent on a robust assemblage of characters....Inventively and intricately weaving a series of linked vignettes, [she] astounds with the versatility of the supplicants' voices....Binchy is at her best in this tender yet potent tale." (Booklist)
Although Binchy delivers lots of engaging characters in this book, it's really more of a collection of short stories than a novel. Obviously, the well in Whitethorn woods is the thread that loosely binds the characters together. She presents the stories in a chain -- one character's story leads to the next character's story, but often, those characters are not brought together. We see the link between the characters because we saw it from each character's perspective, but we didn't see them together. (This is hard to explain!) An interesting way to develop characters, but I would have loved it had she integrated the characters at some point in the story.
I have read two other books by this author and liked both. I wish I could say the same about this one. It was somewhat interesting which was why I gave it 3 stars but I have to say that most of the time I didn't care much about these people. I would have rather had more main story and less individual character development/personal stories. The only reason I stuck this one out to the end was because I had paid for it.
As some other reviewers have indicated, this is a very different style for Binchy, which makes it a little more difficult to follow, but the accent of the narrators really brings the characters to life!
I didn't finish listening to this boring book, only about half. Characters and their backgrounds were still being introduced and they weren't very interesting or compelling. I'm a huge Binchy fan. Sadly this is no Tara Road or Circle of Friends. Maybe next time.
This was wonderful. I found myself watching how much time was left because I hated for it to end. I love Binchy, have read all of her books. I wasn't sure I would like this because of the format but it was delightful.
This is a wonerful book--rich, diverse character portraits delicately interwoven. It reads almost like a collection of short stories. I have listened to most of it several times, catching nuances I missed the first time around. The narration is also well done. Don't pass this one up!
Always reading. Audiobooks in the car, in the kitchen, in the sewing room, and paper books in every room in the house.
I always enjoy Maeve Binchy's poignant, intimate portrayal of the lives of her characters. This book is very entertaining and well read. I will listen again.
I admit I did start it over after the 1st hour or so just to get a fix on the characters. I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of stories rolled into one. It was funny, sometimes sad and even thought provoking at times.
I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.
I'm already on my 3rd listen to this interwoven delightful telling of people's lives and desires. Maeve Binchy is up there with my all-time favorite writers, and I'm always sad to reach the end of her novels, though they always hold heart-warming content and marvelous vignettes. I can't recommend a better peek into conditions in today's Ireland. I was well ready for last summer's visit to London and Dublin after listening to Maeve's recorded pieces of contemporary fiction. Excellent narration does justice to her work in this high-quality recording.
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