A proposed highway through the quiet Irish town of Rossmore will mean the destruction of St. Ann's Well - a shrine supposed to deliver healing, husbands and other miracles - located in Whitethorn Woods. The shrine is located in Father Brian Flynn's parish, St Augustine's.
As a fracas erupts between the people who want the highway and believers who want the shrine preserved, Fr. Flynn finds himself in the middle of the issue not sure where he stands in an increasingly secular Ireland. He goes to the shrine to pray to God to show him what position is right. What follows are the stories of Neddy Nolan, a not so simple mentally challenged man, 60-something Vera who finds love on a trip meant for much younger people and James, whose wife of 26 years is dying.
Linked into these stories are stories of mental illness, alcoholism, incest, greed, the joys of being single and struggles of career women. The good and bad sides of people are shown. I really liked this book although it was a simple plot. It was sweet and endearing anyway. I give it an A+!
When a new highway threatens to bypass the town of Rossmore and cut through Whitethorn Woods, it will also destroy St. Ann's Well, where people have been coming for generations to share their dreams and offer their prayers. Some believe the well to be a place of true spiritual power; others think it's a mere magnet for superstitions. Maeve Binchy populates Whitethorn Woods with passionately opinioted men and women drawn into a timely confict between the traditions of the past and the promises of the future.
I found this book Binchy-enjoyable. She is a reliable and steady writer and when you're in the mood for her style, she's hard to beat.