|Where Maeve Binchy lived in Ireland|
People seemed to know without being told. They came out of their houses and began to run down the main street. The murmur became louder, and almost without knowing they were doing it they started to check where their own families were. It was still just a figure, face down in the water. They didn't know for sure whether it was a man or a woman.Maeve Binchy's web site gives a summary of what this novel is about.
Two very different children are growing up, shouting their hearts' desires into the echo cave, praying that their destiny will lead them far away from the town in which they live. Castlebay, in winter empty and grey with wind and sea spray, becomes all bustle and colour in the gaudy days of summer — and Tom O'Brien's shop on the edge of the cliff besieged by holidaymakers. One of those children with ambitions to leave Castlebay is Clare, Tom O'Brien's younger daughter. A favourite with the local schoolteacher, she wins a scholarship to University College, Dublin and seems all set for a path of academic glory. The other child dreaming of escape is David Power, the doctor's son, also bound for Dublin university, and probably a dazzling future as a specialist. The paths of these two characters are destined to criss-cross in a quite unforeseen way, and eventually both roads will lead back to Castlebay. The end of this long drama of ambition, betrayal, and love is played out in the seaside town where it began, against a backdrop of whispered family gossip and the tangled skein of past friendships.
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