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seems to have become quite a hostess, entertaining half the neighborhood, which at first irritates the reserved and withdrawn Marilyn, a woman who has always guarded her privacy.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

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall


The characters were very easy to identify with and the plot was interesting and kept me wanting to listen. Great narration.

  • Overall
  • Peggy
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 02-14-04

Family and Friends are What Makes Our Lives Whole

I was fully taken into the lives of the people at Tara Road and the joys, pains, and the laughter was "icing on the cake". Details are so full its hard not to picture the events as really happening and wanting to cheer and shout or cry as the events of the story unfolds. The family at Tara Road was like so many families in our time but so inviting that they become your best friends and you want the world to be better for them and feel you are better to know them.

  • Overall
  • Douglas
  • Houston, TX, USA
  • 02-02-04

A wonderful audio book!

Everyone in my house is upset with me for spending the weekend with an earplug in my ear. I could not put this down once it began. Very entertaining. An easy listen. Not too complicated, so could do two things at the same time. Felt like spending the weekend with a good friend. Enjoy!

  • Overall
  • Julie
  • Beaufort, SC, USA
  • 11-24-03

The Best!

This book is great! I really enjoyed it and never wanted to stop listening. The characters are well developed and the narrator does a wonderful job bringing them to life. I was a teeny bit disappointed in the end, but only because I wanted to know what happens next! I really didn't want it to end. Definitely worth spending 18 1/2 hours listening to.

  • Overall
  • Patricia
  • Bayfield, Colorado United States
  • 11-12-03

Great book.

I really enjoyed this book. The author gave so much life to the characters that I will actually miss them now that I have finished the book.

  • Overall

Loved the characters...

At first, I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy this book, but now I'm so sorry it's over. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters so much that I'm wondering how they are. I highly recommend it if you would like to see a real comparison of life in Dublin and in a small town in Connecticut.

  • Overall
  • michelle
  • chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
  • 09-03-09

this book kept me listening

nice story and characters, although rather predictable.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Wonderful. Throughly enjoyed listening to this book. I know you will love it as well.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What WAS She Thinking!

This book was over-long, trite, and predictable. The characters were, for the most part likeable but not terribly interesting and there was no dramatic tension for the first 4 hours. If you like pedestrian, repetitive details about peoples' appearance, details about meals cooking, kitchen appliances, furniture, various characters' wardrobes, and other details of everyday life, you'll love this. This story has been told better hundreds of times elsewhere.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Story
  • P. Chavez
  • Huntington Beach, CA USA
  • 03-06-07

Long and boring

Help! I have fallen into quicksand and am being pulled under by stupid characters and a stupid story.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful