Whitethorn Woods
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About the Author

MAEVE BINCHY was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined The Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982, and she went on to write more than twenty books, all of them best sellers. Several have been adapted for film and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road, which was an Oprah's Book Club selection. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for thirty-five years, and died in 2012 at the age of seventy-two.

www.maevebinchy.com

Reviews

Aproposed highway near the Irish town of Rossmore will mean the destruction of St. Ann's Well, a shrine in Whitethorn Woods thought to deliver healing, husbands and other miracles. The shrine resides in the parish of Fr. Brian Flynn, curate of St. Augustine's. As a fracas erupts between shrine skeptics who want the highway and shrine believers who want the shrine preserved, Flynn, unsure of where he stands on the issue and questioning his place in an increasingly secular Ireland, goes to the shrine and prays that he might "hear the voices that have come to you and know who these people are." Binchy (Tara Road) goes on to deliver just that: a panoply of prosaic but richly drawn first-person characters, such as Neddy Nolan, a not-so-simple simpleton; 60-something Vera, who finds love on a singles trip meant for those much younger; and unassuming antiques magnate James, whose wife of 26 years is dying. Stories of greed, infidelity, mental illness, incest, the joys of being single, the struggles of modern career women, alcoholism, and the heartbreak of parenting span generations, simply and poignantly. Binchy takes it all in and orchestrates the whole masterfully. 400,000 announced first printing. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Spiritual haven? Or source of superstitious nonsense? Strong opinions bubble up when St. Ann's Well, long a place of prayer, is set to be bulldozed to make way for a highway. Reading group guide. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"A tour de force. . . . Binchy is in top form." -The Seattle Times

"Binchy's best read in a decade." -The Globe and Mail

"Love, longing, and rich scenes of daily life. . . . What could be sweeter than a trip to [an] Irish village packed with robust native characters." -The Christian Science Monitor

"A remarkably gifted writer [and] a wonderful student of human nature." -The New York Times Book Review

"Binchy makes you laugh, cry and care." -San Francisco Chronicle

"Binchy is a grand storyteller in the finest Irish tradition. . . . She writes from the very heart." -The Plain Dealer

"An engaging read." -Daily News

"Binchy can channel Irish voices with the best of them, and each of those voices has its own twisting story to tell." -The Columbus Dispatch

"Reading one of Maeve Binchy's novels is like coming home." -The Washington Post

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