Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Review: Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy

I read this book for our book club at the library.  Come join us next month if you love reading!

I have never read anything by Binchy before, which is strange because she is a very popular author and I generally love Irish fiction.  It always seems so quirky and poetic.  Anyway, this book certainly was quirky.  Each chapter is devoted to a different character, with many of them intersecting.  I generally enjoy books with multiple points of view and I enjoyed this one as well, but I have to admit it was sort of confusing starting each chapter with a new character.  It was almost like a chain, with one sort of organically leading into another. 

What each character does have in common is a connection to the well of St. Anne.  Deep in the whitethorn woods, outside the village of Rossmore, is a shrine to St. Anne where locals believe wishes are granted.  However, the town is divided over a proposed highway that would cut through the woods and destroy the well.  Some believe that the road would symbolize progress, others are adamant that the woods and the well be preserved.  As the stories unfold, you find such a cast of amazing and appalling characters, all desperate for St. Anne to grant them their wish.  Does the wishing well work?  It depends on who is asked.  Regardless, everyone has something to learn as they visit the famous well.  This books was a fun and interesting read with so many well-developed and dynamic characters.  I will certainly be reading Maeve Binchy again.

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