Whitethorn Woods

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $5.56
Paperback $9.94
Hardback $2.00
Kindle $11.99
Associated ISBNs 9780307265784
9780307278418 — Paperback
9781594132452 — Paperback
9780786291168 — Hardcover
9780307455239 — Paperback
9780752881478 — Paperback
9780752873350
9780307267443
9781448703715 — Prebind
9781405615860
9781552786475
9781552786024
9781405615853

Rating (VOYA)

4Q, 4P

This is a really well written story, with many POVs that all tie together.

I think that its a really gentle read with generally likeable characters which lends itself to a lot of varied interest. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Readers Annotation

Whitethorn Woods is connected to the people and they can either save it or let it go.

Summary

This story unfolds from many different points of view. Each character’s story is somehow connected to Whitethorn Woods and the “magic” St. Ann’s Well within it. They all come down on both sides of the issue of keeping the forest or building a highway through it. Each character has their reasons for either believing or disbelieving in the magic of the well. More often or not the character stories come in pairs, each telling a different side of the story.

There is the story of the priest who doesn’t believe in the well and isn’t sure that the people of the village really believe in the Catholic church any more. He visits the man who abused his wife and the old man Nolan and his sister. He doesn’t want to take sides on the issue of the highway, even if he doesn’t believe in the well.

Neddy Nolan is a simple man who lived with his brothers in the city doing odd jobs and saving his earnings. He eventually buys the family home, much to his brother’s consternation. He marries a beautiful teacher with a past doing exotic dancing. He has a plan to save the well.

Each story touches on different issues. Vera is an older woman looking for love. There is alcoholism, abuse, baby stealing, and family drama. All connected to the well and the woods.

Evaluation

I really liked this book. It was calm and enjoyable in a way that most of the books I’ve read aren’t. I liked how each story was connected to each other and the well. Almost all the characters were good people and likeable. There wasn’t much of a plot, but the story was more about the lives of the characters than anything.

All the characters were well-rounded and believable. Each had their own story, told from two sides which added depth to their character to see them through their own eyes and the eyes of someone else.

While the woods were a connecting element of the stories, they weren’t the primary setting. There were a lot of different settings, so they weren’t as immersive, because it was about the characters and their journeys, not necessarily where they were.

I got invested in the novel, and I found the end really moving. It was a lovely book to listen to. I think its a great book for people who want a nice, uncomplicated read. Its very calming and uplifting at times.

Genre

Gentle read, multiple perspectives

Readalikes

Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber

Love Letters by Katie Fforde

Significance

Lovely weave of many perspectives relating to a single issue. A picture of the human condition.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Discuss faith and its relationship to the well.

Pros and cons of the highway and its proposed plan of construction.

Which story did you relate to the most? Why?

Author’s website

Maeve Binchy

Awards

 

Reviews

PW

Kirkus

Why I Chose It

This sounded like a nice community book. It sounded like there would be minimal drama and romance but plenty of feeling.

Other Information

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