I took my grandmother’s advice (and Oprah’s–11 years ago) and decided to finally read Tara Road by Maeve Binchy. It is quite a bit longer than the last few books I have read and due to this it had a bit more substance to it. It’s a story about life, love, friendship, loss, and betrayal–your regular everyday happenings! A lot of emotion jam packed into 500 pages. There are numerous characters and multiple story lines weaved through the main plot which at times enhanced-and decreased-it’s readability. The setting is Dublin, Ireland, with the main character a happy housewife whose life is about to be turned upside down. What was interesting about this novel is that I found the secondary characters and their trials and tribulations to be much more interesting than the main story. This could be good or bad.
I put this book down realizing once again that the lives of the those around us are rarely what they seem to be. Binchy took several characters with very regular problems and cast a spotlight on them. I liked this because she demonstrated that the setting could have happened anywhere. These people and their stories are the same as many others we know in our own lives, which I feel helped make the novel more accessible. It reminded me that the best writing grows from truth. What I did not enjoy was that the first half of the novel dragged on a bit for my taste, but the 516 readers on Amazon would probably disagree. All in all, I found the novel to be a decent read. Not my favorite, but certainly worthy of picking up.