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A wonderful love story from the bestselling author of LIGHT A PENNY CANDLE and CIRCLE OF FRIENDS.

About the Author

Maeve Binchy was born in Dublin, and went to school at the Holy Child Convent in Killiney. She took a history degree at UCD and taught in various girls' schools, writing travel articles in the long summer holidays. In 1969 she joined the Irish Times and for many years she was based in London writing humorous columns from all over the world. She is the author of five collections of short stories as well as twelve novels including Circle of Friends, The Copper Beech, Tara Road, Evening Class and The Glass Lake. Maeve Binchy is married to the writer Gordon Snell and they live in Dalkey, Dublin.

Reviews

This romantic melodrama, set in an Irish seaside town in the Fifties and early Sixties, is as wholesome and engaging as the author's first novel, Light a Penny Candle ( LJ 2/15/83). Memorable characters include a poor shopkeeper's daughter who wins a university scholarship, only to miss final exams by a cruel twist of fate; a medical student who shocks his family by marrying ``beneath him''; a lonely schoolteacher who guards two scandalous secrets about her local celebrity brother; and a kindly, ubiquitous priest who knows all, tells nothing, and holds everyone together. It's a little slow to get into, but by the halfway mark the reader is fully involved in all the subplots and is turning pages nonstop. Recommended for most public libraries and for YA collections. Literary Guild alternate. Joyce Smothers, Ocean Cty. Lib., Toms River, N.J.

"Maeve Binchy has a gimlet eye for the seething cauldron of emotions which lies beneath the surface of everyday life" * Irish Independent *
"An adept storyteller with a sharp eye for social nuances and a pleasing affection for her characters" * Sunday Times *
"A powerful story of love and jealousy" * Sunday Telegraph *
"Compulsive reading... Ms Binchy has the true story-teller's knack" * Observer *

The bracing sea air brings little pleasure to the year-round residents of Castlebay, a village on the coast of Ireland, where class lines are strictly observed and morals publicly monitored. The youngest daughter of a shopkeeper whose meagre living depends on summer trade, Clare O'Brien is determined to move beyond her present circumstances. Hard work and the guidance of an irreverent, caring schoolteacher bring the resolute scholar to a college in Dublin. There, her steps falter when she enters into an ardent affair with David Power, the son of Castlebay's only doctor and another willing exile. Although David returns her love, their devotion is sorely tested when they are forced to marry and return home. As a wealthy, new-fledged doctor, David easily resumes his privileged position, but Clare is trapped between her mother-in-law's cold fury and the town's unease. Sharply drawn, memorable characters and a convincing picture of a small Irish community bring freshness and zest to a familiar tale. Binchy also wrote Light a Penny Candle. 50,000 first printing; Literary Guild alternate; first serial to Cosmopolitan; paperback rights to Dell; U.K. rights: Century Publishing; translation rights: Christine Green. January

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