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Firefly Summer Paperback – May 29, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385341717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385341714
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Binchy's latest novel (after Light a Penny Candle ) is set in the tiny Irish backwater of Mountfern, home to a handful of families and typical of hundreds of similar hamlets in the British Isles where life is lived to the rhythm of the seasons. Mountfern is the ancestral home of Patrick O'Neill, a rough, rich American whose wealth comes from bars and restaurants, and whose dream is to build a grand hotel in Mountfern. The consequences of Patrick's arrival there early in the '60s are often hilarious: the local aristocracyespecially the widows and spinstersvies for his attentions, while the villagers are beguiled by his largesse and by thoughts of the prosperity the hotel will bring. But tragedy strikes when a bulldozer working on the hotel site crushes Kate Ryan's spine; her adaptation to life in a wheelchair is brave and touching. Kate (Binchy's most splendid character) and her husband own a pub that is bound to suffer when the hotel opens. Other charactersall memorably portrayedcome to be resentful of the "Yank's" money while they reveal their own cupidity. Patrick's joy at his homecoming is slowly eroded, and his teenage son Kerry breaks hearts, including his father's. Binchy's lyrical prose has a lilt and musicality that makes it a joy to read. With a strong narrative drive that never flags, the story engages all the reader's emotions.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When American millionaire Patrick O'Neill returns to his ancestral home in Ireland, his intent is to bring prosperity to Montfern in the form of a luxury hotel built from the ruins of an old estate. Instead, the villagers see their lifestyles irrevocably changed and the town's inner harmonies disrupted in the four years it takes to build O'Neill's hotel. Binchy ( Light a Penny Candle , LJ 2/15/83) offers vital, complex characters, from John and Kate Ryan, whose pub will be threatened by the new hotel, to Miss Barry, the canon's alcoholic housekeeper. These people live in all their quirky individualism and will remain with the reader long after the book is completed. Accolades. Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, Kan.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

She kept my interest from beginning to end.
R. Neiderer
The town goes through ups and downs. there are the characters you can't get enough of and the characters you feel you've wasted too much of your reading time on.
tweeder82_gordy@hotmail.com
The plot was believable as were the characters.
Mary Watkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Setterfield on February 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been on a Binchy marathon for the past nine months which has culminated with this novel, Firefly Summer. Let me tell you, this book was utterly fantastic. The story of Mountfern touched me from the very beginning when the kids learned their "special place", the burned remains of an old, once powerful mansion, would be rebuilt. Because of this, their entire world changed. Maeve Binchy spins a wonderful Irish yarn that takes a surprising plot twist at the end. If you liked The Glass Lake or Light a Penny Candle, this book is definitely for you. I can't stop raving about it!!!
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a HUGE fan of Maeve Binchy. She and Rosamunde Pilcher are my two favorite authors and I have read many, if not most of their works. This was definitely not my favorite. The book was engaging enough but also a very depressing read. One tragedy after another took place and at the end I could not honestly say that I enjoyed reading it. Oh yes, I enjoyed reading the descriptives and the interactions between the people of the sleepy town of Mountfern because Binchy just has a way of drawing you in. But, although the writing was good, the content was sad and depressing. I wish more good things would have happened.
The ending was incredulous. I could not believe so many things were left hanging. It was as if after nearly 700 pages she just decided to be done after only a moment's thought. There was absolutely no closure between the characters or storylines whatsoever. There was no sigh of contentment upon reading the last page and closing the book. There was just a sigh.
Almost always I finish Binchy's books with a yearning for more, sad that the story has ended and I can no longer be apart of the lives she has written about. This was not the case with this book.
For a truly excellent read I would highly recommend Circle of Friends (I think her best work), The Glass Lake or The Copper Beech.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read BETTER books by Maeve Binchy (Glass LAke, Circle of Friends) -- but still this book was un-put-downable! The characters were engaging and the story was interesting -- it just got a bit draggy at the end -- but it was worth the read
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By LRP on May 13, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Firefly Summer IS what I wish all the other Binchy books could be. If you are looking for a fast-paced read, I promise this is NOT the book for you. However, if you are looking for a well-crafted, intimate, multiple angle look into a Binchy-type community of characters, I propose that this one should top the list.

So, if you have never read Maeve Binchy before -- do not let this be your first read. I would suggest starting with Echoes, then move on to Glass Lake, then Copper Beech, then (maybe) Light a Penny Candle, then Evening Class, then Scarlet Feather, SKIP Quintins altogether, then Circle of Friends, and cap it off with Firefly Summer. Then you will experience the true joy to be had in this story.

(Just beware, most of her books have a "zinger" at which point the story really takes off. Firefly Summer's first "zinger" doesn't happen until about page 250 or so (depending on which copy you read) -- you have to be patient, and wait for it. From there, you're thoroughly hooked. (Can't wait to read her newest one....))
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think that the characters in this book were really well written -- especially Dara, Michael and the other young people. However, I prefer Maeve Binchy's other, more hopeful novels such as Evening Class and Tara Road. This one has just too much tragedy in it. Do we really need to have something terrible happen every hundred pages?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Stevens on March 17, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been a huge fan of Irish author Maeve Binchy since I first read "Circle of Friends" ten years ago. Like her other novels, this one does not disappoint.

"Firefly Summer" is about the evolution of the small, sleepy Irish village of Mountfern after an Irish-American millionaire, Patrick O'Neil, moves in with plans to build a luxury hotel. It literally changes the lives of nearly everyone in the village, regardless of their age, social status or gender. The novel follows the many ways the village and its inhabitants adjust -- or object -- to the change being forced upon them by this hotel's development.

Binchy has a unique ability to weave the many lives and personalities of all her books' characters -- both major and minor -- into a wonderful tapestry that is hard to come across in other novels. As a reader, you get to know these characters on such an intimate level that you feel you've known them for years. Moreover, when the book ends, you feel sad because you realize that you will never know what happens to those characters in their respective futures.

One of the things I especially liked about "Firefly Summer" is that it focused on both the adult generation and the teenaged generation in equal proportions. The changes the hotel would bring would, after all, affect these generations in very different ways. So it was satisfying that Binchy shone a light on everyone, not just one person or family. At the same time, although a lot of the teenagers' storylines naturally revolved around young love, Binchy successfully avoided making "Firefly Summer" into a young adult romance novel.

There are some shortcomings, of course. I felt that O'Neil's handsome yet conniving son, Kerry, got away with way too much, and his sister, Grace, seemed a tad too perfect.
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More About the Author

Maeve Binchy is the author of numerous best-selling books, including Nights of Rain and Stars, Quentins, Scarlet Feather, Circle of Friends, and Tara Road, which was an Oprah's Book Club selection. She has written for Gourmet; O, The Oprah Magazine; Modern Maturity; and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. She and her husband, Gordon Snell, live in Dalkey, Ireland, and London.

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