As a huge Maeve Binchy fan, I must say this hard to find book is not exactly like her others...and its uniqueness made me hesitate to read it. Wrong! It was different from most of her works, but good. No continuous characters like some of her later works, but all of your questions about the characters are indeed answered by the and of book. Enjoyable!
This book is non-traditional in its style - it's truly the same story but told several ways focusing on several of the many key players in the small town of Shancarrig. One might think of it as a class reunion in book form. The characters are well-developed and I wanted to know what had happened to each. The only thing lacking was a solid tying up at the end.
What a delightful read this is! It's the story of the lives of the inhabitants of a tiny Irish village from the 50's onwards, with an emphasis on the pupils of the small village school. The three roomed school is built under the shade of a huge Copper Beech tree on which generations of children have carved their initials. The pupils range from the elite of the village, the Major's daughter, the solicitor's son and the daughter of the hotel owners, to the desperately poor offspring of the town dressmaker and the town drunk, with a few adults thrown in for good measure, such as the spinster who yearns for the young priest, the school teacher couple who can't have children of their own and the hotel owners who are trying to improve their social status. Add to the plot a covered up murder, a randy bachelor and a romantic wife who's looking for some extra spice in her life and it all makes for a good, meaty read which is difficult to put down. Maeve Binchy fans will love it!
Maeve Binchy always takes me to a comfortable community and lets me in on all their secrets. Not every small community knows everything about everybody else and she tells the tale well.
One of my favorite authors and this is one of my favorites that she's written.