Its summer and nothing much is happening in Rathmoye. So it doesnt go unnoticed when a dark-haired stranger appears on his bicycle and begins photographing the mourners at Mrs. Connultys funeral. Florian Kilderry couldnt know that the Connultys are said to own half the town: he has only come to Rathmoye to photograph the scorched remains of its burnt-out cinema.
A few miles out in the country, Dillahan, a farmer and a decent man, has married again: Ellie is the young convent girl who came to work for him when he was widowed. Ellie leads a quiet, routine life, often alone while Dillahan runs the farm.
Florian is planning to leave Ireland and start over. Ellie is settled in her new role as Dillahans wife. But Florians visit to Rathmoye introduces him to Ellie, and a dangerously reckless attachment begins.
In a characteristically masterly way Trevor evokes the passions and frustrations felt by Ellie and Florian, and by the people of a small Irish town during one long summer.
Anyone drawn to the title and expecting a Nicholas Sparks/Bridges of Madison County-style romance should approach with caution, but those who appreciate exquisitely paced narratives and keen emotional insights will relish this bracing examination of love and its limits. (Reviewed by Marnie Colton).
The New York Times - Thomas Mallon
[T]here is no corpse in the basement, no bomb lies hidden in any drawer—but even so, a reader will have his heart in his mouth for the last 50 pages. And when that heart settles back down, it will be broken and satisfied…a thrilling work of art.
The Washington Post
Everyone, as Trevor knows so well, has a story. No character in this book goes unnoticed; no one is forgotten. For those readers who have loved the generosity and beauty of Trevor's work (he has written 27 books of fiction), Love and Summer will be one more entry into a world that is both heart-breaking and deeply fulfilling.
The Seattle Times
...jewel-like... I found myself wishing that the Rathmoye summer would never end.
Starred Review. Trevor renders the fictional town of Rathmoye with the precise detail of a photograph, while his portrait of its inhabitants is more subtle and painterly, suggesting their interwoven secrets, respectful traditions and stoic courtesy.
Starred Review. An archetypal Irish love story and a perfect novel - sweet, desperate, sad, unforgettable.
Starred Review. This is another masterly work from one of our greatest contemporary novelists.
The Guardian (UK)
While not perhaps the author writing at the height of his powers, there is much to admire and much for the heart and mind to seize on in this subtly pointed work. It lingers in the memory as a beautiful meditation on love, belonging and the impossibility of escape...
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by AKASH Awesome book by awesome novelist Can't bound this perfect love story in my words just a sweet story with a sad and desperate flow and unforgettable end......
Rated of 5
by Jerry Trevor is Terrific What a great writer William Trevor is! His prose is restrained and captures the unique patterns of a vanishing Irish culture. This may not be as good as "The Story of Lucy Gault," but Trevor always has a way of pulling at the reader's... Read More
An Irish Lexicography
When reading Love and Summer, American readers will encounter many Irish words and phrases with which they may not be familiar. What follows is a list of some of these, highlighted within a sentence from the book, along with the accompanying definition. Definitions come from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
1. By the time the stairs had been hoovered, tea-towels hung up to dry and the daily girl sent home, it was evening.(8)
Vaccuumed (used throughout the British Isles).
2. 'I'm sorry,' she said, turning to face him. 'Arrah, it doesn't matter' (18).
An expletive expressing emotion or excitement, common in Anglo-Irish speech.
3. He hadn't noticed the ring he saw when he looked for it now - so skimpy, so unemphatic on her finger it could have come out of a Hallowe'en barm brack (85).
Suffused with Munro's clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these tales about departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, and outgoings and homecomings both imagined and real, paint a radiant, indelible portrait of how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.
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