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Love and Summer: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Length: 226 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The tragic consequences of a woman's lost honor and a family's shame haunt several generations in Trevor's masterful 14th novel. His prose precisely nuanced and restrained, Trevor depicts a society beginning to loosen itself from the Church's implacable condemnation of sexual immorality. Years ago, Miss Connulty's dragon of a mother forced her into lifelong atonement after she was abandoned by her lover. Now, in the mid-1950s, middle-aged and forever marked for spinsterhood in her small Irish town, she is intent on protecting Ellie Dillahan, the naïve young wife of an older farmer. A foundling raised by nuns, Ellie was sent to housekeep for the widowed farmer, and she is content until her dormant emotions are awakened by a charming but feckless bachelor, Florian Kilderry, who has plans to soon leave Ireland. Their affair is bittersweet, evoking Florian's regretful knowledge that he will cause heartbreak and Ellie's shy but urgent passion and culminating in a surprising resolution. 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. (Sept.)
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From Bookmarks Magazine

Trevor is a master storyteller, and Love and Summer exhibits all the hallmarks of his most luminous works: his stark and graceful prose; his profound insight into the human heart; and his hauntingly authentic characters, precisely sketched in just a few short lines. In Trevor's provincial Ireland, every person has a story—a secret hope or a heartache—and he teases them out and weaves them together subtly and seamlessly. Gentle, naïve Ellie is the highlight of this "spare and nuanced portrayal of fragile humans dwarfed by life's circumstances" (Philadelphia Inquirer), and while Trevor offers no easy answers or tidy endings, he provides a believable and satisfying denouement. Readers, along with the critic from the Boston Globe, will "find it hard to leave Rathmoye."

Product Details

  • File Size: 531 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (September 17, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 17, 2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RCJC6C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,540 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written many novels, and has won many prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. His most recent novel Love and Summer was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He is also a renowned short-story writer, and his two-volume Collected Stories was published by Viking Penguin in 2009. In 1999 William Trevor received the prestigious David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement, and in 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. He now lives in Devon.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this wonderfully detailed snapshot of a vanishing Ireland, a young woman falls in love too quickly, a young man falls in love too slowly, and the consequences are ultimately heart-wrenching.

The book starts in a passive voice that demands the reader's full attention to understand fully what is going on. After a bit I recognized this as a sort of verbal averted vision, conveying respect for a funeral in progress. The skill with which this was accomplished amazed me, and though I was glad to have the book then proceed in a more conventional narrative, I noted other areas where style variations conveyed as much of the book's substance as the literal sense of the words did. Wow!

The book is set in village/rural Ireland in a vaguely specified time that I guess would be about 1965. The material culture, characters, their interactions, institutions that effect them - everything that enters into the story is detailed concisely yet clearly enough to recognize this as a regional story, not just a generic Ireland, but probably in the middle-south of the island. It may be useful to know some details of Irish life already - for example it is helpful at one point know that in Ireland "Pioneers" are sworn teetotalers - but much of this you will get by osmosis through the book.

The characters are so real I will surely not forget them. The old servant, cast off by the fled aristocracy, whose dementia-driven ravings seem about as clear as a classical Oracle and ultimately turn the story. The young woman, "placed" on a widower's farm out of Catholic orphanage, married for respect and security, who stumbles on her first experience of love.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Consider the opening paragraph. "On a June evening some years after the middle of the last century Mrs Eileen Connulty passed through the town of Rathmoye: from Number 4 The Square to Magennis Street, into Hurley Lane, along Irish Street, across Cloughjordan Road to the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer. Her night was spent there." How beautifully it sets the period, establishes the mid-sized Irish town, brushes against the mild pretension of "Number 4 The Square," and adds its final piece of delayed information: Mrs. Connulty was in her coffin. William Trevor treads with assurance on familiar ground, but he never quite walks in straight lines; he will tell you what you need to know only when you need it. In this book where nothing much happens -- at least to the outward eye -- it is important that things be told at their proper pace and in the right order. At this, Trevor is the acknowledged master.

Mrs. Connulty's funeral gives us occasion to meet the main characters, who are few. The old lady's middle-aged son and daughter, both business people in the town. An elderly man whose mind is stuck thirty years back. Ellie, a naive young woman from the countryside. And a strange young man on a bicycle who takes photographs. The only major character not present is Dillahan, Ellie's husband, a sheep-farmer who has his reasons for avoiding company. I am only at the start of the second chapter, and already I have revealed more than the author (although the jacket blurb gives away almost the entire plot). Taking his time, but never wasting words, Trevor will tell us more of Dillahan's tragedy, and how he came to marry this dutiful girl from the orphanage. He will have us meet the bicycling photographer, Florian Kilderry, living alone in a crumbling mansion outside town.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Brief summary, no spoilers:

This beautiful little book takes place during one summer. The time is the mid 1950s.

Ellie Dillahan is a young woman, married to a kindly farmer (referred to as "Dillahan" in the book) who is several years older. Ellie was a foundling, raised in the convent where she was left as an infant. She is sent directly from that convent to work for Dillahan, and after a couple of years they marry.

We know that years earlier there was a terrible accident of some sort involving Dillahan's wife and child. We see that Ellie is now a comfort to him and he is a good husband to her.

Into this picture comes Florian Kilderry, a young man raised affectionately by two bohemian parents. When he happens to be in Ellie's town taking pictures of a funeral, they meet, and Ellie falls in love.

Ellie must decide between her husband and Florian - and Trevor shows us that the choice is anything but easy.

There are other assorted wonderful characters. The book starts out with a funeral, and we become acquainted with the dead woman's twin daughter and son. Something terrible has happened to the daughter, and we know that she and the mother didn't get along. The daughter takes a special interest in Ellie and Florian.

We also meet a deranged older man named Orpen, who becomes an important player in the story.

This is a very short book, and you can probably read it in a few hours. But it packs a big punch. The language is just beautiful, and Trevor paints a wonderful picture of a small Irish town in the 1950s, and how our past has everything to do with the choices we make now.

Recommended. William Trevor is one of my favorite writers, and this book demonstrates why.
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