In the Irish town of Schancarrig, the young people carve their initials-and those of their loves—into the copper beech tree in front of the schoolhouse. But not even Father Gunn, the parish priest, who knows most of what goes on behind Shancarrig's closed doors, or Dr. Jims, the village doctor, who knows all the rest, realizes that not everything in the placid village is what it seems.
Unexpected passions and fear are bringing together the lives of so many, such as the sensitive new priest and Miss Ross, the slight, beautiful schoolteacher... Leonora, the privileged daughter of the town's richest family and Foxy Dunne, whose father did time in jail...and Nessa Ryan, whose parents run Ryan's Hotel, and two very different young men. For now the secrets in Shancarrig's shadows are starting to be revealed, from innocent vanities and hidden loves to crimes of the heart...and even to murder.
Maeve Binchy was born and educated in Dublin. She is the bestselling author of The Return Journey, Evening Class, This Year It Will Be Different, and The Glass Lakes. She has written two plays and a teleplay that won three awards at the Prague Film Festival. She has been writing for The Irish Times since 1969 and lives with her husband, writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell, in Dublin.
From the Trade Paperback edition.