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Tara Road

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  50,130 ratings  ·  1,483 reviews
A Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club

New York Times bestselling author Maeve Binchy has captured the hearts of millions with her unforgettable novels. Binchy's graceful storytelling and wise compassion have earned her the devotion of fans worldwide--and made her one of the most beloved authors of our time. Now she dazzles us once again with a new novel filled with
Mass Market Paperback, 648 pages
Published July 18th 2000 by Dell (first published 1998)
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Circle of Friends by Maeve BinchyTara Road by Maeve BinchyScarlet Feather by Maeve BinchyThe Glass Lake by Maeve BinchyQuentins by Maeve Binchy
Best Books By Maeve Binchy
2nd out of 23 books — 111 voters
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What To Read Next
292nd out of 9,138 books — 18,110 voters

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Community Reviews

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My mom and sister and I refer to this as the "smell the milk" book. Sometimes you open the fridge and wonder what that horrible smell is, and you open the milk bottle and nearly pass out. But it's so bad someone else HAS to experience it to, so you ask whoever's nearby to smell the milk, too.

I picked this book up in a grocery store in Shannon, Ireland. I was hoping for a fun, light read during my vacation. It *was* fun and sort of light, but not in the way I expected.

I've truly enjoyed some of M
This book came to me in such an unusual way that it is impossible to judge its contents without noting the story. I was riding the subway to work in NYC when I was in my early twenties, when a little, old, Chinese man tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up from my book and he asked me, in broken English, if I liked to read. I was taken aback by not only being touched by a stranger on the train, a no-no for regular NYC commuters, but by his seemingly random question. I gave him a quick nod and tu ...more
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Binchy is one of my favorite authors and I think this is my favorite of her books. Great for a vacation read. She always wraps her stories up in nice little bows at the end, which may not generally be what would happen in reality, but I think that's why I like it - she's good at reminding people that things always work out in the end. Also, she has really strong female characters, or ones who start out weak but find strength, usually through other great women characters, which is always somethin ...more
My favorite Maeve Binchy story.
Christina (Reading Thru The Night)
I agreed to read Tara Road simply because the binding of the novel looked worn. I thought to myself, "how terrible of a book could it be if others had loved it with marked creases." As soon as I picked it up, part of me began regretting the decision. I could not find any redeeming qualities.
The novel begins with Ria, a young Irish girl talking to her sister about love and relationships. This, I imagine is used as a backdrop to illustrate the naivete of Ria (short for Maria) in the land of love.
This was my first Maeve Binchy and it will not be my last. The story starts with Ria, living in Dublin and married to the charismatic Danny Linch. She believes nothing could be better about her life except to have a third child until the time comes to discuss this possibility with her happily married husband. Only to discover he is having a third child with another woman! Ria’s life is turned inside out and upside down and so are the lives of her young son Brian and 15 year old Annie. Just when ...more
Patricia Devereux
I have to admit, as a book snob, I kind of look down on authors who are wildly popular. But I had heard of Binchy and, hey, "Tara Road" was in the one-for-one paperback exchange at my library's book sale, so I picked it up.

I was instantly sucked in to the characters' complex relationships, their longings, divorce and romance struggles, motivations, eforts to better themselves.

The dual stories of the two divorcees on both sides of the Atlantic who exchange homes was a great plot device. I was fa
Cyndy Aleo
My first introduction to he writing of Maeve Binchy was her novel Circle of Friends, after which I read The Glass Lake. When I saw that Tara Road was chosen as an Oprah selection, I thought it would be even better.

::: Girl Meets Boy :::

Ria is a pretty if unspectacular girl. She lives with her widowed mother and older sister, takes a secretarial course, and takes a position at a real estate agency, where she meets the gorgeous and ambitious Rosemary and the dashing Danny Lynch. In real life, Dann
I have not read a Maeve Binchy book that I have not absolutely LOVED! She is an amazing character writer. Her characters come to life so much that they feel as though they are your friends and you are part of their circle and in the story. I often have to remind myself that they are fictitious and not real! They become so much a part of you that it is very difficult to finish one of her books and have to say goodbye to them. I even find myself thinking of them and wondering how they are doing no ...more
There was a time in my life I would have turned away from a book because of it's size. This one would have gotten passed because of this size. I'm glad I didn't pass it up.

Maria (Ria) is a very unselfish woman living in Ireland on Tera Road. Her life fell into her hands by the luck of her husband, Danny, and his real estate working with Barney McCarthey. This is a tale of many lies revolving around these men, with wives who turn a cheek to their indiscretions.

Ria is very social and her friends
This...was an absolute waste of my time. When I think of the time I could've spent studying, there's a sense of emptiness in me that Maeve Binchy has stolen a day or two of my life that I will never get back. No,'s more than's like a sense of betrayal even. Maeve was supposed to be funny. She was supposed to be funny and witty, like she was when she wrote Aches and Pains. This is one of the reasons one should never go reading a book expecting anything. In retrospect, I thought ...more
If I could, I would give it a 3.5 stars. I liked some of the themes presented in this book: abuse, friendship, commitment, love, children. I did not like the soap opera type of story. My husband asked what I was reading and I told him confidently that it would fit right in as a Lifetime movie. I don't normally read that type of literature (or watch Lifetime movies, well, except perhaps at Christmastime!). I was drawn, however, to Binchy's writing. She writes very well and the story lines are com ...more
I'd have to agree with the spilt milk metaphor but go further and say it smells so bad I wouldn't ask anyone else to smell it! I just finished Whitethorn Woods and thought it was decent. Not quite literary, but fun storytelling. This book is just trashy. I avoided Binchy because I don't read pop fiction but after her death I read a nice write up and thought I might really like her and her characters. That was true for WW. The one thing I like about Binchy (in WW) --and this may betray my complet ...more
I've read this book over and over; Maeve Binchy -- who, I was distressed to learn, passed away earlier this year -- always gives this reader her money's worth. While I've enjoyed all of her novels, this remains my favorite. Definitely light reading, but her characters (new and recurring) are always so appealing, the plots always interesting, and her descriptions of Irish life, whether in the countryside or in Dublin, always compelling. Don't be surprised if you start asking people to "mark your ...more
Jun 11, 2008 Jeanie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeanie by: Emmy
Shelves: popular-fiction
Easy, light-hearted, Summer read. Kinda reminded me of the TV show Desperate Housewives. It's the story of women and their relationships (good & bad) with each other, the men in their lives, and the facade of the "Cinderella life" or "Keeping up with the Joneses."

This author also wrote Circle of Friends which was also a movie. Her books are consistent and good. They dive deep into the minds of women and what they're really thinking & what they really want or think they should want. :-)
Lisa Rose
OK maybe it was just my mood, but I was bored to tears ... I listened to more than half, all the while thinking "I have to stop this" but I continued hoping somehow I would even care ... I must have spent 7 hours or more listening! OMG.
I am so glad I stopped & couldn't care less what happened to thet characters. However, on a positive note, if one were really interested in Ireland, it's people and such, perhaps one could enjoy One Star's Worth here !
With each new book, Maeve Binchy continues a remarkable progression of sales and audience growth, reaching fans of all ages and backgrounds with her matchless wit, warmth, and sheer storytelling magic. Tara Road, her first full-length novel sinceThe Glass Lake, again shows her incomparable understanding of the human heart in the tale of two women, one from Ireland, one from America, who switch lives, and in doing so learn much about each other, as well as much about themselves. Ria lived on Tara ...more
It has been quite some time since I have read a Maeve Binchy book, but I remembered her wonderful Irish stories about human relationships and emotions and the realm of goodness and the sorrow of misunderstandings. I also remembered I should have a box of tissues close by and sure enough Tara Road proved true to form.

Ria Johnson a somewhat awkward and insecure young secretary meets incredibly handsome Danny Lynch at work and they fall in love and move into their dream house on Tara Road and have
Maeve Binchy is a master story teller. Never more so then in this story.
When reading this novel I found myself captivated by Danny's charms not unlike the other women in this story.
Ria started out as a "weak" woman in my opinion. She wanted to be everything to everyone. Her desire to make Danny so happy and raise her family the way her mother thought she should, falter when Hillary (her sister) would complain and be the peace maker to her thousands of friends made her be someone that I felt woul
Maria Zivalich
I loved this book!I had never read anything before from Maeve Binchy and this book made me a big time fan! I had read a review of her latest book "A Week In Winter", but happened to come across Tara Road so I got it. The author just recently died sadly. Tara Road is set in Dublin Ireland. The charterers truly come to life. At first I thought it might be a bit difficult to keep track of who's who because there are quite a few characters in the story, but that was not the case at all it was quite ...more
This book was really difficult for me to get through, especially in the begining. I am not a fan of the author's style of writing. It was one short blocky paragraph followed by another short blocky paragraph followed by another and so on for the whole book. The language did not flow. The descriptions were boring - the whole book was boring, what am I saying? It's all about a woman who gets divorced and the many friends that betrayed her over the course of her marriage. I guess I now know why it ...more
Maeve Binchy is a great storyteller. Her recipe for a good story often entails characters we can relate to, perhaps their morals, values, and lifestyle, along with suspense, humor, joy, sorrow, and disappointments. This story had everything we see in our human nature in our daily lives. I gave three stars because the story went longer than necessary. I would've reduced the story by 150 pages. The authour's goal is perhaps for the reader to feel and embrace EACH and EVERY characters' journey. She ...more
Nov 11, 2008 Sandie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of intertwined storylines
I recently took another trip down Tara Road to re-visit the lives of two women, Ria and Marilyn, one from Ireland and one from America who trade houses and lives for one summer. I originally read this book about 9 years ago and wanted to see if I would enjoy the second reading as much as I had the first. Once again, I was captured by Binchy's tale of friendship, betrayal and revelation as well as her ability to capture moments and fill them with warmth and humor.....not to mention her deft talen ...more
For the first 50 pages I felt that I was being rushed through a brief history of a bunch of character over a year-long period. I'm fine with that if it's building to something. But then the next 100 pages were a slowed down version of the chronicling. I was curious about where the characters' lives were going, but there was no artistry to keep me in it. I'm not one for long, gory descriptions, but give me something lady. Reading this book was kind of like listening to a teenager tell you about a ...more
This was my first Maeve Binchy book, and it took me a while to get into it. As the myriad characters' backstories unfolded, I kept asking myself about the plot. Where was the story going? Roughly halfway through the book, events unfold that ultimately change the direction of the characters lives. You begin to see the cracks in the foundation of what was a nice little story, and you begin to view the characters differently. There are some characters, like Danny, Rosemary, and Bernadette, that I d ...more
Erin Leiter
Tara Road follows the lives of several women as hopes and dreams are shattered and remade. I really hated the fact that the women in the book constantly give men their way. They completely give up their lives for them and take them back again and again. I also felt the voices of the American characters weren't authentic -- they sounded very much like an Irish writer trying unsuccessfully to sound American. The American teens used words and phrases that no American teen would ever use. With that ...more
Having enjoyed many of the Oprah picks (even though I am not particularly an Oprah fan), I was very disappointed. I don't know what I expected, but halfway through the story I started to lose interest. The plot was somewhate unique, but the details were not believable--really she didn't know her husband was sleeping around for years and years, even though there were a hundred signals? Not to offend anyone that has been the victim of infidelity--I am sure it could happen--but not in this way. And ...more
I found this book almost compulsively readable, even though the further along I got into the story, the more flaws started jumping out at me. If you want an easy read with a fast-moving storyline and are willing to overlook the not-quite-fitting pieces, you'll enjoy the book.

Tara Road revolves around the friendships of three women, Ria, Gertie and Rosemary, who live in Dublin, and whose lives continue to intersect despite the growing disparity in their personal circumstances. Plain-Jane Ria gets
Sandy H
I had problems really rooting for the main character as I just wanted her to "wake up and smell the coffee already, sheesh." Plus, even at the end of the book, I still had difficulty remembering who some of the side characters were, as there were far too many to keep track of. I understand Binchy wanted to create a "world" but sometimes it felt like I was needing to pay attention to too many lives. The only reason I gave this three stars rather than two is because I did like her writing style. I ...more
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2015 Fishing Chal...: Tara Road by Maeve Binchy 3 11 Mar 21, 2015 07:23PM  
Maeve Binchy 11 69 Sep 02, 2013 06:45PM  
I can't stand her! 39 341 Jun 22, 2013 09:42AM  
The movie adaptation. 9 85 Jan 31, 2013 10:59AM  
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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.
More about Maeve Binchy...
Circle of Friends Evening Class A Week in Winter Scarlet Feather Quentins

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“I look placid, you see, that's why people think I'm fine. Inside I worry a lot.” 27 likes
“She put her head down on the table and cried all the tears that she knew she should have cried in the past year and a half. But they weren't ready then, they were now.” 14 likes
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