Tara Road by Maeve Binchy

street of houses painted in bright daubs of color
Bright paint covers heartbreaks.

Maeve Binchy’s Tara Road begins in the 1980s as a chatter of Dublin teens take their first jobs.

Ria Johnson is a home-and-hearth, family-and-friends type. Like most of her girlfriends, she plans to work only until she lands a husband. Ria’s best friend, Rosemary Ryan, is a “career first, fellows later” type.

When slick salesman Danny Lynch is transferred to the real estate office in which Ria and Rosemary work, both are smitten. Danny has eyes only for Ria. When they marry, Rosemary is Ria’s maid of honor.

Danny helps a sleazy businessman unload an unsaleable property, acquiring a 1870’s home on Tara Road and the businessman’s mentorship in the process.

Thirteen years later, Ria is about to tell Danny she wants a third child, when Danny says he’s leaving her for his young, pregnant girlfriend.

While still reeling from the news, Ria accidentally picks up a phone call from a woman in America who wants a home for the summer. Impulsively, Ria and Marilyn decided to exchange houses for two months.

Each woman gets to see life—and herself—from a different perspective.

Sadly, although all Binchy’s female characters have life-shattering experiences, few learn from those experiences anything more than how to put a good face on a bad situation.

Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
Delacorte Press. ©1998. 502 p.
1999 bestseller #10; my grade: B

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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