An old copper beech overlooks a school, and witnesses all the hopes and loves, dreams and ambitions of the children who grew up there…

Eight children once carved their names on the trunk of the great copper beech tree which shades the schoolhouse in Shancarrig. Now those children are grown. They have different lives but it was the school that formed them and made them what they are. For each their hometown of Shancarrig holds special memories – some too private ever to be told.

From Ryan’s Hotel to Barna Woods where the gypsies camp each year, from Nellie Dunn’s sweet shop to Father Gunn’s church, the tenor of life in this small Irish town is outwardly placid, uneventful, some – like Nessa Ryan in search of passion – would say, deadly dull. But peel away the layers and all sorts of unexpected things come to light: like Maddy Ross’s secret love, Eddie Barton’s surprising pen friendship, and what Maura Brennan discovers about the glamorous newcomers, Mike and Gloria Darcy…

The copper beech is the gateway to Maeve Binchy’s marvellous portrait of a small Irish town whose untroubled surface conceals the passions, rivalries, friendships, ambitions and jealousies beneath.

Reviews of The Copper Beech

“This is Binchy at her very best, telling stories with charm, humour and pathos and giving us one of the most stunning feel-good endings I can remember.” — Mail on Sunday

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The Copper Beech

Published in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand by Orion. Published in the USA by Delacorte and Dell.