Friday, October 3, 2014
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
Ria and Marilyn have never met - they live thousands of miles apart, separated by the Atlantic Ocean : one in a big, warm, Victorian house in Tara Road, Dublin, the other in a modern, open-plan house in New England.
Two more unlikely friends would be hard to find : Ria's life revolves around her family and friends, while Marilyn's reserve is born of grief. But when each needs a place to escape to, a house exchange seems an ideal solution.
Along with the borrowed houses come neighbours and friends, gossip and speculation as Ria and Marilyn swap lives for the summer.
I enjoyed reading Evening Class tremendously that when 'class was over', I was quite happy to start Tara Road. One interesting titbits I discover about reading Maeve Binchy is that some of her characters made appearances in her other titles. This is especially so when she based her book at the same location. While the characters might not make much impact in the storyline, their appearances are very much welcomed and gave the story and the plot much breath and space and certainly adds level of uniqueness in the story.
In Tara Road, I met Ria and Ria's a wonderful but rather naive person whom places much importance in her family and friends. However, Ria has to face reality one day when the very people whom she placed much importance in turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. In many ways and at many levels, I feel so much for Ria.
Marilyn was only introduced about halfway into the book and while Marilyn's life turned out to be rather tragic as well, she formed a long-distance friendship with Ria that I really admire.
Tara Road was made into a movie in year 2005 which stars Andie MacDowell as Marilyn and Olivia Williams as Ria. It was a wonderful read. I think it would be a wonderful watch as well.