Monday, March 05, 2012

Whitethorn Woods

Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy

The town of Rossmore, Ireland has been growing and a new highway is proposed which will alleviate some traffic problems. But as in all development something else has to go. St Ann's Well, a local shrine, may be the casualty. St Ann's Well has been the place where troubled people go to ask for cures, husbands and solutions to other problems.

This book is a collection of short stories about the people who are connected to the well. Father Flynn is the local priest who does not believe in the well but wants to cover all angles and goes to the well to ask for a sign. There is amiable Neddy Nolan who is billed as a simpleton but is smart where it counts and Dr. Dermot,an old doctor who wants to keep his patients at any cost and Lilly Ryan whose first child was abducted 22 years earlier. These are only a few of the people in Rossmore who have a tale to tell and a lesson to teach.

I am not too much into short stories but some of these were very good and the following story was the same story from a different viewpoint which made it very interesting. I love Binchy's novels but find her collections a little wanting.

First Line: "Father Brian Flynn, the curate at St. Augustine's, Rossmore, hated the feast day of St Ann with a passion that was unusual for a Catholic priest."


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