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Echoes

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  7,655 ratings  ·  381 reviews
Clare and David--divided as children by a rigid social code that branded her as shanty Irish and him as gentry...brought together as adults by a desire that knew no class, no barriers, only the urgent hunger of two people destined to love--and ready to defy a world determined to keep them apart.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Signet (first published 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jenna St Hilaire
For the first three-quarters of this story, I loved it. For most of the last quarter, I had my arm drawn back, ready to send the book flying against the far wall. Binchy held off anything resembling resolution for the main characters to the last two or three pages, and all I can say about that without spoiling it entirely is that though it was nowhere near a rainbows and unicorns ending, I didn’t throw the book across the room after all.

Binchy, despite her stylistic licentiousness regarding comm
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Melissa
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Jasmin
Mar 18, 2010 Jasmin rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists
This book exhausted me. I really don't like giving low ratings, but this book sucked the life out of me, that I couldn't even give it 3 stars.

Looking at the back, I would think it was all a love story and all about Clare and David, but in the first few pages, there were so many characters in it, I couldn't tell who from who. Probably blame it to me just reading at a moving vehicle, but still! First 300 pages were meant to emphasize how different Clare and David were. No romance or whatsoever. A
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Amanda
The village of Castlebay is a tiny little place atop some cliffs on the coast of Ireland. In the summer visitors flock to the little caravan park and the houses for rent, but in the winter the place is deathly quiet. In the late fifties three restless children grow up together in Castlebay: Clare, the daughter of the shopkeeper, who works and works to earn a scholarship to college; David, the son of the doctor, destined to follow in his father's footsteps but dreaming of much more; and Gerry, da ...more
Yvonne Mendez
Little by little I want to read all of Maeve Binchy's work and Echoes was the second novel she published. Such a beautiful work where we're introduced to some recurring characters like St. Anne and Father Flynn. This story revolves around the lives of people in a small town called Castlebay. There is love, betrayal, family dramas, friendships and the town itself.

Reading Binchy's work is always so restful and I can just imagine it in an Irish accent. It also makes me want to visit and live a lif
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Jenifer
In the past, I've read and enjoyed Binchy's books, sometimes for the diversion they offered. But I admire most her ability to capture the nuances of people, especially those who live in and/or come from small towns. _Echoes_ offers astute characterizations, but it is not a light read. Other readers have commented that they did not like this book as well as some of her others, in part because it is not an "escape read". I recommend this book because it is an unflinching tale of people in small-to ...more
Beth
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Holly
Apr 20, 2011 Holly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
Recommended to Holly by: Erin Koster
I received Echoes from a dear friend who is a big fan of Ireland (spending several years there herself) and of Maeve Binchy. This is the first book that I've read by the author.

To be honest, the first third of the book seemed extremely slow going to me. I thought that the character backgrounds that Binchy plotted out were extremely vast and overdone. BUT, by the time the storyline really picked up, I was entranced. I'd already developed emotions and opinions about every character, and Binchy re
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Jane Stewart
Excellent read about different types of people, but somewhat sad ending.

I normally prefer romance novels, but this was nice for a change. It's a story about many different people in a small town on the coast of Ireland. Some set goals and work hard for them, others do not. One fellow had movie star good looks, was very smart, but never committed to anyone or anything. Girls loved him. It was fascinating watching what happened to these people over the course of many years. Some people I loved, ot
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Deb
I really enjoy Maeve Binchy's novels, and apparently this is a reissue of one of her very early ones. This story focuses on 3 characters: Angela O'Hara, a spinster teacher caring for her invalid mother; David Powers, the only son of the town's doctor and his unhappy wife; and Clare O'Brien, the intelligent, ambitious daughter of a shopkeeper. The lives of the 3 are closely intertwined, and we follow them through the 1950's and early 1960's. Clare rises "above her station" and wins a scholarship ...more
Mary
Nov 23, 2013 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Clare and David - divided as children by a rigid social code that branded her as shanty Irish and he as gentry class...brought together as adults by a passion that couldn't be denied. It was a desire that knew no class, no barriers, only the urgent hunger of two people destined to love and ready to defy any convention used by a world determined to keep them apart.

Even at fifteen, David Power knew eleven-year-old Clare O'Brien's dearest wish, to win a school prize. But it was years before Dr. Pow
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Cynthia
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JayeL
I had the sense throughout this book that I had read it before, but I could never grasp a part that confirmed that feeling. I don't think this is one of Binchy's best. It was a bit of a slog to get through. An semi-enjoyable slog, but a slog nonetheless. I had high hopes that the ending would bring it all together and was sorely disappointed. I love Maeve Binchy's books and can't understand the problem with this one. Was it a really true version of what happens in life or did the author just wan ...more
Stephanie Holcomb
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Rainbow
I picked this book up at a Target in Orlando. When I saw it, I felt rescued from the rest of the shelf. Anyway ... it's an awesome read, romantic and kind of unsettling. The main character is extremely easy to root for. Then I realized four-fifths of the way through THAT I HAD ALREADY READ IT. It's a re-release. I have it at home. I tore through everything by Maeve Binchy about eight years ago.

OK, the fact that I completely forgot this book has nothing to do with Maeve Binchy. I just don't retai
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Jeanette
I love ready Binchy....I first fell in love with her style with Tara Road.....than of course, Quintens.....Echoes is an earlier book but I never got around to reading it,.,until now. I fell in love with the whole little town. My favorite character should have been Clare but she is just too much for me...I liked Paddy...the town doc...he was just so down to earth and nothing seemed to phase him. A great read...especially in summer at the pool. I plan on picking another one of her books as my next ...more
Maureen Mullis
Imagine it's a rainy night, and you and your best friend are sitting in comfy chairs in front of a fire. Maybe you're drinking hot chocolate, laughing about something when she turns to you and says, "Did I ever tell you the story about David Power and Clare O'Brien from Catlebay?"

When you say no, you both settle back and she begins to tell you the story. That's what this book feels like, and it's wonderful.

Maeve Binchy is a first class story teller, and ECHOES is one of her best. If you pick it
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Poivree
This book was given to me by my sister-in-law when I got out of surgery and needed to lay around a lot.

It is set in a small Irish Community on the sea coast during the 1950's and 1960's. It is a summer resort that is experiencing a time of growth and change. The Catholic Church exerts an enormous influence on the lives of the villagers and the rituals never questioned.

The main character, Clare, is only 10 years old at the opening of the book. She goes to the Catholic school, works in her fam
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Elizabeth (Alaska)
As good as any Maeve Binchy I've read, with her characterizations of good and caring people, none of them perfect but all trying to make the best of the life handed them. This book is a bit longer than most and a bit more tension than usual. It opens with a prologue which has the towns people finding a body on the beach. Whose body is it - murder, accident, suicide - and who will care deeply when all is said and done?
Mariam
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Kim
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Maria
This was the first one I ever read. And so began a long devotion to Maeve Binchy. She writes such wonderful stories. Whenever I'm tired, or fussed, or stressed, these are the books I come back to time and time again. Cannot tell you how many times I have read these books. Like sinking into a hot, deep bath, or a great big cuddle. Bliss ...
Kay
I wasn’t fond of the beginning and the ending of this book, but the middle was really good. I didn’t like the beginning because of Binchy’s irritating habit of just suddenly sneaking a new character into the story. They suddenly speak and are part of the story with no explanation of who they are. I found it to be hard work, underlining characters’ names and their relationships to each other. Therefore, it took me a long time to get into the book. But then the story was engaging and I got to know ...more
Marty
Maeve Benchy novels are all comfortable. You know there is going to be a strong woman heroine. There are going to be ups and downs but true love will win out. The story opens with a drowning.. but you don’t know who the victim is. The story quickly goes back several years and works back to the drowning. Clare O’Brien is the daughter of a shopkeeper. She is a bright and talented student who comes under the protection of the local school teacher. She wins a scholarship to go to college where she f ...more
Lauriej
This book was so frustrating. I want to steal the characters from the author and take them as my own. She did nothing with them. About 3/4 of the way through I read the last chapter wondering if I wanted to continue. So glad I did because the way the book ends BITES...
Tess
I picked this book off this shelf simply because it was written by Maeve Binchy, my all time favorite author. Like most of Binchy's work the complexity of the story line was interesting to me. She manages to thrown in just enough characters, and events to keep your mind well occupied without the plot going over your head. This is also goes hand in hand with what I liked about the book, the whole 737 pages never get dull with the massive cast of characters, and the intertwining troubles and succe ...more
Kristen
This is a beautiful love story through a few years of two lovers in Ireland, the obstacles they face from two social classes through their lives. A good read for 4.5 days.
Carol
This was one of Maeve's early books which I may have read years ago but, regardless, I enjoyed reading recently. It is another rich, complex, interweaving tale of the residents in a small seaside town in Ireland over many years. Ireland in the 1950's was very much a pro-Catholic, class system environment and friendships with those of another class was discouraged. We see the world changing around them as the children of the 50's grow up. I have found myself wrapped up in all of her books, and th ...more
Tiffany Greco
This is the second book of Binchy's I've read, my first being The Glass Lake. I adored the characters in The Glass Lake and I adored the cast of Castlebay just as much. The book was easy to read and the characters complex and nuanced. I loved most Clare's time in Dublin when she was independent of David. I really ached for her to continue there and realize her dreams. The ending was not unbelievable in any way. Though I wanted more for Clare and I felt saddened by her resigned life in Castlebay; ...more
Mike Joanne
A good glimpse of what life was like in the 50's and 60's in rural Catholic Ireland. Most of the characters are from a tiny village where everyone knows what is happening in each other's lives before they know themselves! The stigmas, social injustices, prejudices, are all dealt with. Post partum depression wasn't as recognized as it is now, and I like how the author addressed that. I enjoyed reading about how the beach town grew and prospered over the years. The love stories were just ok. There ...more
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Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of four. Her parents were very positive and provided her with a happy childhood. Despite the fact she describes herself as an overweight child it was her parents attitude that gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she is today.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while.
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More about Maeve Binchy...
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“I'll understand if you don't want me. But I will be heartbroken. You are all I ever dreamed of and hoped for. You are much, much more. Please know that I didn't think I was mean-minded. But I realize I am. I don't want you to put your arms around me and say it's all right, that you forgive me. I want you to be sure that you do, and my love for you will last as long as I live. I can see no lightness, no humour, no joke to make. I just hope that we will be able to go back to when we had laughter, and the world was coloured, not black and white and grey. I am so sorry for hurting you. I could inflict all kinds of pain on myself, but it would not take back any I gave to you. - David Power” 339 likes
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