Pros: Quick, easy read
Cons: Depressing at times
Maeve Binchy has written another wonderful book. Binchy seems to have a knack for letting readers peek inside the windows of the crazy life in post World War II Ireland. The main character, Ria, is just like lots of other women... she thinks her life is perfect, only to wake up one day and find it has crashed all around her.
Binchy sets the reader up to believe that Ria is totally dependent on others and lives in a dream world to the extent that she will not be functional in a changed life. Ria's journey from schoolgirl to carefree young woman to domestic mother seems too good to be true, and of course it is. When her world crashes, the reader waits with baited breath to see if she can pick up the pieces.
With the help of her true friends, some strangers, a dead boy, and her family, Ria rises from the ashes of her former life to become stronger than ever. She realizes an inner strength she never knew she had, and through Ria, the author suggests that other ordinary women may also possess unknown strength.
Maeve Binchy is an excellent story teller. She presents interesting nuances of her entertaining characters, lending credibility to stories which may otherwise be too "cookie cutter" to seem realistic. The reader believes the heartache that many of the characters here seem to live with, and understands their efforts to put a good face on for the rest of the world. Tara Road is a fascinating glimpse in to the lives of a handful of average people who rise above their lot in life.