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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seems to have become quite a hostess, entertaining half the neighborhood, which at first irritates the reserved and withdrawn Marilyn, a woman who has always guarded her privacy.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.

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

Critic Reviews

  • An Oprah Book Club selection.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    498
  • 4 Stars
    326
  • 3 Stars
    140
  • 2 Stars
    38
  • 1 Stars
    29

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    320
  • 4 Stars
    114
  • 3 Stars
    40
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    278
  • 4 Stars
    150
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    10
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  • Overall

Material good - quality, not-so-much

Get through part 1 (it can move slowly and makes you wonder if you've downloaded the right book based upon publishers comments), and get ready to enjoy a much more engaging story once the women exchange homes.

The narrator is very good, but the quality of the recording is quite disappointing. I didn't, by the way, pick this up in the sample provided. Volume and sound quality can change drastically from one chapter to another, and at times the sound of other people (readers??) in the background is extremely distracting. This seems to be worse in some chapters than others, and particularly noticeable in part 2. I should note that I finally found an excellent pair of ear buds, which may contribute to my irritation concerning quality issues.

I wish Audible would consider establishing an area relating to quality where you could see if there have been comments, both negative and positive about recording studios/production companies before choosing a book to download. Come to think of it, I'm not sure the name of the production company is listed in the catalogue, which leads me to the obvious recommendation that if it isn't included in the book description, it should be.

I'm happy I read the book; the story is hard to put down (as in unplug the ear buds) - particularly once you hit part 2. Put it this way: if the material wasn't good enough to hold my attention solidly, I would have abandoned ship somewhere in part 1 due to quality and consistency of the actual recording. I wonder if the author gets to listen to and approve a recording before it is published?

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Arik
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • 08-03-03

Loved It

Engaging and a real "trip" through Dublin. Maeve is a master storyteller. Well worth your time!

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bette
  • Walnut Creek, CA, USA
  • 04-30-07

Good Story, poor recording

The poor quality of the recording of this book was very distracting. It is to Ms Binchy's credit that I completed the tale given the uneven sound quality and continual background noises as if the reader were in a large room with many other readers doing their thing at the same time.

A shame really, as it was a good read.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 12-17-12

A Solid Terrific Read

This story has it all/ love, romance, betrayal, death, friendship (loyal and otherwise), children, travel, house and home, organized crime, addiction, men's and women's issues, power, control and abuse. It is all about messy life. I loved it, every bit of it. A truly great listen, so sad when it ended, I was so invested in these people and their lives. ENJOY!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Enjoyable!

This book was right up there with "The Secret Life of Bees". Extremely enjoyable and I had a hard time turning it off and was anxious to get back to it. The narrator was awesome with her Irish accent and brought Ria and all the characters to life...especially entertaining was Ria's son Bryan......you won't be disappointed!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Monica
  • Middletown, DE, USA
  • 04-05-09

Great Story - Terrible Recording

I found myself in love with the story but always fussing with my ipod to turn up the volume and down other times on different chapters. I now know what everyone else was speaking of when I read the reviews, you can hear people in the background recording. I am amazed that audible allows this poor quality recording on their website, a big disappointment. I honestly loved the story and wished it could of been heard with better quality.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

a lovely story

I selected this book because it was on Oprah's list. At first I was surprised that it was an Oprah pick because it seemed to lack the intellect of her other selections.

Soon I was soothed by the author's words, lulled by the narrator's voice and rooting for our main characters.

Although not brain surgery, I realized that the intellect was buried in the author's ability to tell a story.

It was a lovely way to spend my commute.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful story

Ms. Binchey is sneaky. She begins telling this story including you in all the little details of Ria Lynch's life. At times you want her to get to the point, but then, when disaster hits Ria's life, you begin to understand why Ms. Binchey wrote the way she did. Your heart ache's for Ria and the hurt she is feeling. I realized I was completely sucked into this story caring about all the characters as if they were real. This book is a treat and I loved every minute of it. My only criticism is the sound quality. Another reviewer said it sounded like others were in the same room as the narrator reading stories as well. I agree. It was distracting at times, but the story is so beautifully written, it is easily forgivable.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Beth
  • San Diego, CA, USA
  • 02-19-04

the best

This is the best audiobook I've listened to all year. Though intimidated by its 18 hr length, I raced through it in just 2 weeks. I'll miss these characters like I miss old friends. Highly recommended. Another of Maeve Binchy's fine works.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fabulous Listen!

I just finished listening to a book called "The Help" and didn't think any other book would compare, but I have to say that Tara Road was an excellent story. I felt connected to every single character in the book and loved the story. This was the first book I've heard by this author, but plan to do anther right now!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful