Ria is a doting, loving mother of two to Annie and Brian. Her husband, Danny, is charming and a powerful real estate agent. They live in their dream home on Tara Road in Dublin and have friends and family coming and going, constantly filling the home with love and noise. Ria loves her live until one day, everything comes crashing down around her. Her husband has been unfaithful and has gotten a younger girl pregnant and wants to make a life with her. Trying to escape her problems but still desperate for a reunion with her husband, Ria accepts a house exchange in the USA.
This is the first Maeve Binchy book that I've read and I'm surprised it made it to Oprah's Book List. The characters were interesting and the novel flows very well. I did have a few problems with this book though. I felt like the purpose of this book was to have Ria and Marilyn exchange homes to learn more about themselves. Marilyn isn't even introduced to the book until 1/2 way through. Less background on Ria and more on Marilyn would have made more sense.
The other major issue with this book is how the female characters let their male counterparts walk all over them. There's very little justice for most of them. I wanted to slap Ria a few times for how she felt and acted around Danny. This is part of what made me so surprised that this was an Oprah book club pick because she usually likes her women strong and to stand up when being treated like crap.
First Line: "Ria's mother had always been very fond of film stars."