The Copper Beech
- Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date:
- 20 February 2012
- Modern & Contemporary
Showing 1-4 out of 4 reviews.
In the Irish town of Shancarrig, the young people carve their intials - and those of the people that they love - into the trunk of an ancient copper beech tree in front of the schoolhouse. But not even the parish priest, Father Gunn, who knows everything that goes on behind closed doors, or Dr. Jims, the village doctor, who knows all the rest, realizes that not everything in the placid town is as it seems.Unexpected passions and fear are bringing together so many people; the handsome new priest and Miss Ross, the shy, beautiful school teacher, Leonora, the privileged daughter of one of the town's richest families and Foxy Dunne, whose father did time in jail. There is also Nessa Ryan, whose parents own Ryan's Hotel, and two very different young men. For now the secrets deep in Shancarrig's shadows are being revealed, from innocent vanities and hidden loves, to crimes of the heart and murder.I really enjoyed this book. I had read it several years ago as well and loved it then as well. I give it an A+!
This was a magnificent book written in a simple, yet evocative language. The way everyone's lives are interconnected is demonstrated in this serious of touching stories about life in a small Irish town. The thread that knits the sttories together is the old Copper Beech tree at Shancarrig school where students carve their names.As we read each character's story, the life of the town emerges into our conciousness. This book shows that every place, no matter how drab, has a story and that we can never know what is happening in the life of another.I was touched to the quick by this story and had trouble putting it down. A tale that will remain in my memory forever.I would recommend this book to anyone....
<i>The Copper Beech,</i> by Maeve Binchy, is a loving portrait of a rural Irish village told through the lives of its ordinary town folk over a twenty-five year period from the mid-1940s to 1970. There are eight main characters and almost a whole village worth of other secondary characters. If there is one minor fault with this book, it is that readers may find it difficult to keep track of all the names and relationships. At the novel’s core is a huge copper beech tree that stands in front of the old schoolhouse. At some moment in each character’s story, this beech tree takes on an important role.Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view, and each forms a delightful and complete story in itself. Subsequent chapters dealing with other characters’ lives, manage artfully and subtly—often by mere happenstance—to reveal relevant information about previous characters and events. This new information makes the reader reevaluate and reassess what actually may have occurred in previous chapters. Thus the chapters intertwine artfully to create a unified whole. In addition, we manage to see many of the same events from entirely different perspectives. Overall, this book was a very satisfying reading experience—a slow novel, with considerable emphasis on realistic character development. Binchy is a master storyteller. In this work, her prose is unpretentious and easy-going, giving the reader the experience of being there, in the village, hearing a series of stories told by a sage old timer. The author is at her best when she delves into the interior emotions of her characters—their hopes, dreams, insecurities, sorrows, fears, and disillusionments. But overall with this book, it is not the characters one falls in love with, but the town. In many ways this novel is a loving lament for a place and time that is vanishing all too quickly in this pace-paced modern world. This is one of those rare novels that I did not want to end—I wanted the author to continue telling us about the lives of each and every person is Shancarrig and carrying their stories right up to the present day—obviously an impossible task. But the author did manage to put a satisfactory ending on this heart-warming tale, and I closed the last page with a profound feeling of peace, love for humanity, and a twinge of grief for the imaginary people of Shancarrig that I would visit no more.
I usually like Maeve Binchy's books, but I couldn't get into this one for some reason. It's written from the point of view of various members of a school class, and though many stories are told I found it difficult to care about the characters. Not one of her best.
Reviews provided by Librarything.
No reviews here.