The Copper Beech

Maeve Binchy, Author
Maeve Binchy, Author Delacorte Press $22.5 (345p) ISBN 978-0-385-30775-8
Hardcover - 345 pages - 978-0-385-30853-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-440-21329-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-47093-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-4222-7
Hardcover - 471 pages - 978-0-8161-5810-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-440-29525-9
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-29214-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-52773-5
Paperback - 391 pages - 978-0-385-34175-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 391 pages - 978-0-440-24421-9
Open Ebook - 978-0-440-33763-8
Paperback - 407 pages - 978-1-4091-3840-2
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-7528-8252-9
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-7540-1914-5
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-7528-6454-9
Hardcover - 407 pages - 978-1-898801-68-9
Hardcover - 10 pages - 978-1-4056-8395-1
Paperback - 407 pages - 978-0-7528-7681-8
Hardcover - 407 pages - 978-1-85797-999-2
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Binchy ( Circle of Friends ; The Lilac Bus ) is a consummate storyteller with a unique ability to draw readers into her tales of Irish life. Here again she mines sources rich in plot and character to produce a captivating narrative. The eponymous copper beech is a huge tree that shades the tiny schoolhouse in the village of Shancarrig. For generations, graduating pupils have carved their initials on the massive trunk, and the book examines what has become of some of them. Though each of the 10 chapters offers the perspective of a single character, Binchy adroitly indicates the ways in which their lives intersect. Thus, the allegedly stolen jewels that are discovered and stolen again in one early chapter become significant in later chapters. Long after two adulterous characters sneak into a Dublin hotel, it emerges that they were spotted by a small soul from Shancarrig, who passes on the information--with unforeseen consequences. A priest's dalliance with the sweet young schoolteacher is shown to have been been suspected by others in the village. The result is a charming and compelling series of interlocking stories about ordinary people who are given dimension through Binchy's empathetic insight. While this book is more fragmentary in structure than some of her previous novels, it should leave Binchy's fans wholly satisfied. BOMC main selection. (Nov.)
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