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Echoes

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,648 Ratings  ·  432 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
Jun 13, 2010 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Dec 25, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-author, audio
A well written family drama set in Ireland - easy reading but good stuff!
Jasmin
Mar 18, 2010 Jasmin rated it it was ok  ·  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
Maureen Mullis
Sep 16, 2012 Maureen Mullis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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Beth
Mar 17, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yvonne Mendez
Aug 08, 2012 Yvonne Mendez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 30, 2014 Jenifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Holly
Apr 20, 2011 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Sep 25, 2010 Jane Stewart rated it really liked it
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
Nov 06, 2009 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-books-read
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 it was amazing  ·  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
...more
Trish at Between My Lines
I must have originally read this book about 25 years ago and it's one of my comfort books. Yes, I know most people have comfort food but I have comfort books! This book is the literary equivalent of wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket, settling yourself on an old but comfy couch and having a long gossip with a good friend.

It's heartwarming (but still gritty), the characters are multi dimensional with lots of flaws but remain engaging. Echoes gives a lovely snapshot of Ireland as it used to b
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JayeL
Dec 26, 2014 JayeL rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, audio, 2014
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rainbow
Jun 06, 2010 Rainbow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
JodiP
Jun 10, 2014 JodiP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patsy
Feb 20, 2016 Patsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It was sometimes called the echo cave, and if you shouted your question loud enough in the right direction, you got an answer instead of an echo..."
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.

Even at fifteen, David Power knew the echo would answer
...more
Sukanya Viswanathan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Oct 10, 2009 Elizabeth (Alaska) rated it really liked it
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
Oct 12, 2014 Mariam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim
Mar 25, 2012 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria
May 07, 2008 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...
SK
Jan 19, 2016 SK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Echoes, a strong contender for my third favorite all time Binchy book, tells the classic story of David who falls for Clare - the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. This book (which I re-read somewhat recently) still chills me as I read about the ups and downs and heartache that goes in their young lives. Clare says, upon returning to her small town and small household after living for some time on her own and going to nursing school: "the dangers of going away to be educated was that you e ...more
Minty McBunny
May 31, 2015 Minty McBunny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, may-2015
I love Maeve Binchy, her books are as warm and comfortable to me as a soft blanket and a cup of hot, sweet, milky tea.

After reading a few unlikable books, I wanted something nice and lovely and familiar. This was on my bookshelf, notable because it's actually the last new book I purchased before realizing I would be better off utilizing the library and minimizing my cluttered or worst case buying used.

I have only read it twice though so it was vaguely remembered but still suspenseful. I could
...more
Kay
Sep 02, 2014 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 19, 2014 Marty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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. Although she described herself as an overweight child, her parents' attitude gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she was.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved travelin
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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” 358 likes
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