Echoes

Echoes

3.8 41
by Maeve Binchy
     
 

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"It was sometimes called the echo cave, and if you shouted your question loud enough in the right direction, you got an answer instead of an echo..."

Clare and David—divided as children by a rigid social code that branded her as shanty Irish and him as gentry...brought together as adults by a desire that knew no class, no barriers, only the urgent

Overview

"It was sometimes called the echo cave, and if you shouted your question loud enough in the right direction, you got an answer instead of an echo..."

Clare and David—divided as children by a rigid social code that branded her as shanty Irish and him as gentry...brought together as adults by a desire that knew no class, no barriers, only the urgent hunger of two people destined to love—and ready to defy a world determined to keep them apart.

Even at fifteen, David Power knew the echo would answer eleven-year-old Clare O'Brien's dearest wish, to win a school prize. But it was years before Dr. Power's cherished only son saw in the huckster's daughter the answer to his own heart's desire. Here in Castlebay, perched precariously on the seaside cliffs, the lines between them were clearly drawn. Clare's only hope is to leave the town where time stopped, propelled by scholarships to Dublin, fueled by her own drive and brilliance, far from the insular, gossipy world of Castlebay and those in its thrall... Angela O'Hara, beautiful, insolated, a teacher trapped in the convent school, who risks everything to help Clare escape... Gerry Doyle, the town charmer who finds in Clare the woman he vows to have at any price... Caroline Nolan, the beautiful, rich outsider who comes to plunder...

For Clare, that was before the wild freedom of Dublin, and love. And David. Before fate drove them back to Castlebay, and the past...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.
Library Journal
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.
New York Times Book Review
Echoes, set in Ireland, is a lovely, ''soft'' book. Maeve Binchy, has written a languid tale set 30 years ago about the people who live in the claustrophobic seaside resort of Castlebay....The Castlebay Maeve Binchy creates is a marvelous place to visit - it's the living there that's hard.
From the Publisher
"The Castlebay Mave Binchy creates is a marvelous place!"
The New York Times Book Review

"Laughter and tears:  it's what Binchy does best."
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"Maeve Binchy is a grand storyteller... she writes from the heart."
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440122098
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1997
Pages:
494
Product dimensions:
4.28(w) x 6.98(h) x 1.31(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Maeve Binchy is the author of Nights of Rain and Stars, Quentins, Scarlet Feather, Light a Penny Candle, and many other bestselling novels.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Dublin, Ireland, and London, England
Date of Birth:
May 28, 1940
Place of Birth:
Dalkey, a small village outside Dublin, Ireland
Education:
Holy Child Convent in Killiney; B.A. in history, University College, Dublin, 1960

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Echoes 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read almost all of Binchey's novels and this is one of her best. She is very skilled at creating numerous characters and somehow managing to intertwine their stories. This is evident here, with the main characters being Claire and David who are from the same town of Castlebay but from distinctly different upbringings. To put it simply, Claire was raised poor to a family that works round the clock in their little shop, and David comes from money with a doctor as a father. They discover love while in college, as Claire is very bright and won several scholarships to school and David is studying to be a doctor. When Claire discovers she is pregnant, their lives change forever. They believe love will overcome everything in their way, which is a great concept but idealistic. The reality is that being married with a newborn baby can be mundane and demanding. Good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way she writes. Not to descriptive, just enough to put you in the moments.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story, however i found the ending to be very dissapointing
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PagesofComfort More than 1 year ago
    This book has been sitting on my TBR pile for quite some time. The synopsis on the back of the book really drew me in, and thats why I originally bought it. I have never read anything else by the author, but I definitely will now! I really enjoyed Binchy's writing style: so simplistic, yet so detailed. That might sound a bit odd, but her she didn't use overly big words to try to make the story more elegant or classy; she simply wrote her story and it came across beautifully. I really enjoyed the main characters, Clare and David. Clare was a sympathetic character and I felt for her struggles. She was such a sweet girl who wanted more out of her simple life than just getting married off. She worked so hard to get her scholarships and become an independent woman. David, on the other hand, didn't have to work too hard to earn his way to university. He came from an affluent family of the town doctor. Yet he didn't come across as being snobbish or entitled. He enjoyed what he had, but still made the most out of his life. I also really enjoyed the two personalities of Clare and David.         I was a little disappointed with the ending, however. There isn't a clear ending of what happens in the lives of Clare or David. There are some hints throughout the last third of the book, but I was still unsure of what happened. I can probably guess at the ending, but sometimes I like being more certain as to what occurred. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I can't wait to read more from Maeve Binchy!
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