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Firefly Summer
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'FIREFLY SUMMER is warm, humorous, sad and happy. Reading it is a joy' - Irish Independent

About the Author

Maeve Binchy was born in Dublin, and went to school at the Holy Child Convent in Killiney. She took a history degree at UCD and taught in various girls' schools, writing travel articles in the long summer holidays. In 1969 she joined the Irish Times and for many years she was based in London writing humorous columns from all over the world. She is the author of five collections of short stories as well as twelve novels including Circle of Friends, The Copper Beech, Tara Road, Evening Class and The Glass Lake. Maeve Binchy is married to the writer Gordon Snell and they live in Dalkey, Dublin.

Reviews

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. (September)

"Wonderfully warm and involving" -- Katie Fforde
"Maeve Binchy has a gimlet eye for the seething cauldron of emotions which lies beneath the surface of everyday life" * Irish Independent *
"An adept storyteller with a sharp eye for social nuances and a pleasing affection for her characters" * Sunday Times *
"The secrets hidden behind lace curtains, a young girl's first kiss, children's summer games, unexpected pregnancies, sudden deaths. She makes us feel as if we also know the place and the people... One of those good old-fashioned stories that are as comfortable and comforting as home itself" * The Philadelphia Inquirer *

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.

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