Friday, August 31, 2007

The Copper Beech

By Maeve Binchy

In the Irish village of Shancarrig the little school house is dominated by a huge copper beech. Generations of children have passed through the little school. When they leave the school it’s a tradition to carve their initials into the trees trunk before they go off to start their lives. Some will move on to higher education, some immigrate to England in search of work, others come up with different plans all their own. The story is broken up almost into novellas with each one telling the story of a different resident of Shancarrig. Most characters are in search of love but they’re also looking for financial success, freedom from family and freedom from the opinions of others.
The Cooper Beech is a very comfortable read. It’s not fast, nor is it slow. The characters are gently flawed and easy to like. With each characters tale, the village and its occupants became more colorful. The story ends up just right. This is not an exciting story but it’s not meant to be. It’s an enjoyable read. To see what else Binchy has written, go to