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In Echoes Binchy proves that she truly is a master storyteller but blistering sentimentality and her penchant for verbosity turn some sections of the novel into a test of stamina.The story revolves around Clare O'Brien and David Power, the offspring of two vastly different families in the seaside town of Castlebay in the 1950s. The O'Briens run the local shop, they're working class and Clare is only able to further her education by being gifted and winning scholarships. The Powers are 'to the ma [...]
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 co [...]
Anyone who knows me knows that I am in love with the world that Binchy so easily creates. So, they may be surprised that I am only giving "Echoes" a 3 out of 5. While her setting, cast of characters and storytelling abilities are as top-notch as ever, this book left me strangely unsatisfied. My main issue seems to be one that is "echoed" forgive the pun, by many of my fellow reviewers. Mainly that the love story of Clare and David is not given enough time to develop in comparison with the rest o [...]
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 [...]
A well written family drama set in Ireland - easy reading but good stuff!
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Wat gaat dit ontzettend traag vooruit. Ik had mezelf voorgenomen dit jaar af te wijken van mijn lievelingsgenre, maar makkelijk is het niet. Het boek op zich is niet eens slecht te noemen en ik wil ook wel weten hoe het eindigt, maar toch . Ik kijk uit naar het einde!
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 [...]
I read this book when I was fifteen. I remember it was so beautiful and it clawed at my emotions. This is one of the books that stayed with me. It follows Clare from childhood to adulthood. How life doesn't always turn out like you dreamed it to be. How love often dies out along the way, no matter how perfect it seemed when it first blossomed. This is a book about the reality of love and the reality of life.
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 [...]
I've been disappointed by some Binchys in the past, but this one, I loved.There are for sure frustrating things about it, but I think they only add to the realism of the whole feel of this story. This is 1950s/1960s Ireland, and I think the ending is in perfect alignment with the mentality of the time and place. The fact that Clare's first reaction to the news of Gerry's death is 'thank God' just says so much about how all consumingly-devastating it would have been to her if those pictures got o [...]
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 [...]
I adore Maeve Binchy's books, but this one just didn't register with me. I didn't care for, or really believe the 'grand romance' between Clare and David. She deserved so much better than a man who cheated on her when things got rough. I hated that she lost her career and passion and wasted all her education. I loved Angela and Dick and would have enjoyed more of their story.
Clare and David - divided as children by a rigid social code that branded her as shanty Irish and he as gentry classought 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. Power's [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Well, I always enjoy Binchy books and was not disappointed by this one. Three main characters, all likable, all multi-dimensional and of course their lives are entwined as in all Binchy stories. It was a definitely a blast from the past going back to pre-Vatican (for non-Catholics) late 50's and 60's It seemed a bit foreign as so many social mores, rights and wrongs and proper/improper have drastically changed. Watching the characters struggling with "bucking the system" or accepting and respect [...]
Oh, great day!This book started out FANTASTIC! I was back to the Maeve Binchy I loved.The last 50 pages has Clare giving up all the world has given her to have a baby and be a wife and mother. Yes, commendable to someone who wants that from the start, not what she wanted. Not at all. Then her husband has an affair and she's totally ok with it. It sickens her, but she doesn't get mad or want him to leave. WHAT THE HELL! Ok, so Women are just supposed to stay stupid and let their husband sleep aro [...]
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 [...]
I do enjoy a Binchy read. I lived in Kinsale in Co Cork for a bit and like the Irishness of her books (is that a word). It makes for an OK weekend read. It was a bit slow going in the beginning (like the first 250 pages) and then you find out David the doctor/husband is a total philandering jerk and ol' Clare turns into a simpering depressed mom- jeez come on. If I want reality I can talk to my neighbors. Maybe there'll be a sequell where they find a pot of gold and open a bread and breakfast.
I love ready Binchy.I first fell in love with her style with Tara Road.an of course, QuintensEchoes 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 meI liked Paddye town doche was just so down to earth and nothing seemed to phase him. A great read.cially in summer at the pool. I plan on picking another one of her books as my next read. I guess I plan on keeping [...]
I've really come to appreciate Binchy. She can write about really tragic things so beautifully. This one was a bit of a meandering tale, but I enjoyed the characters and how they grew. In some ways, she puts a pretty gauze over all things Irish; the week I read this, the story of the 800 children in a cess pit came out. But, I suppose one could argue taht the kinds of thigs she writes about also happened: the gentler side of Ireland. I was so sad for Clare, and how her pregnancy completely ruine [...]
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?
Enjoyed reading Echoes but found parts frustrating where there was lots of build up to events like Sean arriving back in Castlebay and then hardly a mention of him after his return. I also found the ending rushed and wrapped up quickly after a long journey with the characters which was a little disappointing.
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
This book was so frustrating. I want to steal the characters from the author and take them as my own. She did nothing with them. About 3/4 of the way through I read the last chapter wondering if I wanted to continue. So glad I did because the way the book ends BITES
The writing flowed as all of Binchy's books do.but this one was a little depressing.
This is a beautiful love story through a few years of two lovers in Ireland, the obstacles they face from two social classes through their lives. A good read for 4.5 days.