Friday, December 5, 2008

Review of the Day: Whitethorn Woods

Instead of her usual saga, Maeve Binchy presents Whitethorn Woods as a collection of paired short stories sandwiched between sections of unifying narrative. The stories all involve people somehow connected with the Irish town of Rossmore and St. Anne’s Well located in the nearby Whitethorn Woods. Pilgrims visit the well and its shrine to ask St. Anne (the mother of the Virgin Mary) for help in all sorts of matters, but particularly regarding marriage and children.

Each story is told in two parts, from the perspective of two different narrators. The characters in all the stories are intertwined – sometimes substantially, sometimes only tangentially. Lengthy sections at the beginning, middle, and end involve the local priest and his family and tie the book together, as does the debate over building a by-pass through the Woods and tearing down the shrine.

Like Binchy’s other books, this is not a thrill-a-minute page turner. But the characters are well-formed and their stories are deftly told. A good read.


  1. I love the way Maeve Binchy can take a number of disparate characters and story lines and weave them together around a theme. Evening Class was a perfect example of this. Her writing is effortless and a joy to read. I can't recommend her highly enough

    Laura Essendine
    Author – The Accidental Guru
    The Books Limited Blog

  2. I agree. I get completely sucked into the world of her stories when I read her books. I love it.

  3. Thanks so much for visiting my Accidental Guru blog. If you download the first chapter (which is just a draft) I'd love to hear what you think.

    Brutal honesty required - don't be polite if you have adverse comments. I REALLY want to know what people think. My email address is in the download.

    Keep up with your excellent blog

    Laura Essendine
    Author – [url=]The Accidental Guru[/url]
    [url=]The Books Limited Blogspot[/url]

    PS. I too was a lawyer in a former life. I'm out of therapy now!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...