Time on the bus means time to read. For me, last weekend bus trip to KL allowed me 5 hours to finish this book, all 737 pages of it.
It’s a thick book. Like most Maeve Binchy Book, it is set in a small town called Castlebay in Ireland in 1950 – 1962 and revolved around the people living there. The main character is a bright ten-year-old girl called Clare, who dreams of going to college in Dublin and and becoming a Professor in History. Like the movie An Education which I watched yesterday, just as she is about to acheive her dreams, she falls in love with the boy next door, David, son of the town’s doctor. She becomes pregnant and hasd to skip her final examinations. The bad boy in town, Gerry, in love with her, discoveres David’s affair and urges her to run away with him. She refuses.
The other characters in the book are Angela O’Hara, Clare’s teacher and her brother Sean, the pride of Castlebay. Sean left the town to become a priest, but left when he fell in love with a Japanese woman while on a missionary trip. They have two children and he wants to return to Castlebay to teach and live with his family. Horrified by the scandal this would cause, Angela refuses to let him return.
The characters of the book are all lovable, in their weird, silly and quirky but very realistic ways. I love the drama going on and what’s described in the book can might as well happen in today’s Korean drama, for 1960’s Ireland is very similar to 2009 Korea – wealth and status is highly admired, pride and face play a big role, and gossip is rampant in the small town – somthing that Korean’s script writers love to write about.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book.