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Echoes by Maeve Binchy
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Nov 06, 09

bookshelves: 2009-books-read
Read in November, 2009

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 to secondary school, and again to university. David becomes a doctor. Angela finds happiness, after years of trouble and care. Binchy depicts the minutia of daily life in a very small Irish village brilliantly, and while at times, the story threatened to get bogged down in details, overall the details were what brought the characters to life. The ending is bittersweet, and I think came too quickly. After the years of build-up of the relationship between David and Clare, I felt that the denouement deserved the same amount of attention. I wasn't totally satisfied with the ending either, but it was realistic. I did really like this book.
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