THE COPPER BEECH Author:Maeve Binchy Carved on the trunk of the mighty copper beech that embraces the school yard in Shancarrig are declarations of love, hope, and identity - the youthful dreams of the children who played there. Now grown, yet shaped by their years in the schoolhouse, they lead different lives. The Copper Beech is about eight of these dreamers. — From Ryan's Hotel t... more »o Barna Woods, where the gypsies came each year, from Nellie Dunne's sweet shop to Father Gunn's church, the tenor of life in this small Irish village is outwardly placid and uneventful. Some, like Nessa Ryan, in search of passion, would say deadly dull. But behind the calm exterior, serenity fades into unexpected drama: Maddy Ross has a secret love; Eddie Barton, a surprising friendship; and the Darcys, the glamorous newcomers, find a curious partner in poor Maura Brennan.
In Shancarrig, where the river runs around the great rock for which the town is named, human life flows in all its variety. Lives intertwine just as names crisscross on the trunk of the copper beech. At the cottages where the Dunnes live in poverty; the grand house of Leo Murphy; the Kellys', near the school; Dr. Jims's, on The Terrace - nothing is as it seems. With humor, warmth, and a ruthless eye for the ironies of self-delusion, Maeve Binchy uncovers the secrets hidden in each person's heart, showing us that extraordinary stories can be found anywhere, if only one knows where to look.« less