The Copper Beech

The Copper Beech

by Maeve Binchy

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The Copper Beech 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was sucked in, entertained, a unwillingly pushed back into reality. I truly lost myself in this story. Better than Tara Road
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is classic Binchy: heart-warming with characters that you truly care about and want to embrace. The book's format also appealed to me; one chapter per character going into their life in detail. Everyone is intertwined in everyone else's life and each chapter is like solving a bit of mystery about that person. This is a well-written, fast read, perfect for vacations and summer-time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always enjoys her characters and feel like I could meet them in person on the street and know them well.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of the village of Shancarrig in Ireland told through the eyes of villagers and others whose lives crossed the school. Much of the action focuses somewhat on the village school and its beech tree upon which names had been carved over the years. There is a great deal of overlap in the stories as each person's life intersected with someone else's at some point. While I cannot identify a specific problem with the writing, it's a book that just failed to engage me as a reader. It may have been a matter of trying to read it at the wrong point in my life. It may have been the overlap in the stories. It may have been that each story had its own chapter, that the chapters were longer than they are in many books, and that there just weren't enough "breaking points." I really don't know. I did manage to stick with it, although it just took me about four times as long as it should have taken to get through.
moonshineandrosefire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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+!
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
msbaba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Copper Beech, 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.
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Once again the author has given us characters that we come to love and care about. I always love it when she gives us a follow up on their lives and we are happy that almost everyone is happy and doing well.
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