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The Summer of the Barshinskeys

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  147 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Although the story of the Barshinskeys, which became our story, too, stretched over many summers and winters, that golden time of 1902 was when our strange, involved relationship began, when our youthful longing for the exotic, for the fulfillment of dreams not even dreamed, took a solid and restless hold upon us." So recounts Sophie Wolloughby as she remembers that magica ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published September 20th 1985 by Corgi (first published January 1st 1984)
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Community Reviews

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Misfit
1902 was the summer when the Barshinskey family came to their small English village and forever changed the Willoughbys. The Willoughbys might be servants, but they are at the top of their social class and the Barshinskeys are at the very lowest rung, little better than tinkers with the children filthy and barefoot.

Mr. Barshinkey is Russian, and while a crude, coarse man with a fondness for drink, he has a way about him that charms - and the Willoughbys are no exception (well, maybe Mrs. Willoug
...more
Dorcas
How I do love thee..let me count the ways..

I love epics and I think you can safely call this one. It's not 900 pages, only 431 in fact (though I would gladly have read another 400) but its epic in time and space. It covers about 20 years and the lives of two complete families: the Willoughby's and the Barshinskey's (an urchin family who moved into the run down cottage next door to the Willoughby's). From that summer on, both family's lives would be wrapped up together for better or worse.

The fir
...more
MomToKippy
Best things : child pov, coming of age, interactions between two very different families. Love that the children's lives of the two families become intertwined and evolve in such touching ways. The first part is very colorful and delightful but the story soon becomes somewhat tragic. The WWI portion in Russia is gripping. This is top historical fiction with dynamic character development and lots of heartfelt human interaction. I need more just like this. Some of the best books I have read follow ...more
Tweety
Mar 27, 2015 Tweety rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who enjoys realistic historical fiction
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas
*happy sigh*

This book was so good. There is a magical quality about the first half, it's shrouded in a haze of summer and childlike simplicity.

The Willowby's and Barshinskey's lives mingled ever since that perfect summer of 1904, and what people were like when they were little, it what they were like when they become big. Each family has three children, and both families find something fascinating in the other.

We have the adventurous Sophie Willowby and the quiet home-body Daisy May Barshinske
...more
Laura
Just arrived from France through BM.

This book tells the story of the Willoughby family and how their children's life was totally changed after the arrival of the Barshinskey's in their life's.

The first part of the book has a reading speed is very slow giving a false impression as far as the rest of the book. As this part details the lives of the children of both families, it's important to understand the rest of the plot.

Already during the account of the life of the main characters during adulth
...more
Catherine
I. Love. This. Book.
Ana
Dec 02, 2010 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books. One of those that you remember forever. I am going to read it again!
Sandy Menke
Oct 10, 2010 Sandy Menke rated it it was amazing
Moving story about a Russian family in 1900 England and their struggles.
Alison
Oct 16, 2014 Alison rated it it was ok
A book I was given nearly 20 years ago, it's moved house and husband with me, and eventually i got around to it. I enjoyed it. it reminded me of the old saga stories i used to read when I wss 15, trying to be older... Or something. Still... It was an enjoyable way to pass the time, and glad I got around to it eventually.
Laura
Jun 28, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
Great beginning, long, rambling and dull middle, and a deeply unsatisfying ending. I was too invested to quit, but I can't say I enjoyed it.
Zaretnsa
Mar 21, 2015 Zaretnsa rated it really liked it
I really liked this book.
barbara
Aug 23, 2010 barbara rated it really liked it
I read this a few years ago and remember loving it. I ordered it again and I will let you know if I still love it as much. THIS CAME IN THE MAIL AND I STARTED READING IT AND PUT DOWN WUTHERING HEIGHTS FOR NOW! Loved it again... just a nice, easy reaad...
Carly
Sep 07, 2010 Carly rated it it was amazing
Finished. Really did enjoy this book all the way through. Takes place during WWII. Adventurous storyline. Took me to another time and place during my 10 hour drive home from WA this weekend. If a book can make hours fly in a car, then it must be good!
Dev
Nov 04, 2013 Dev rated it it was amazing
Fabulous read about growing up, family, love, and sacrifice. Written very well . . .
KayG
Sep 01, 2015 KayG rated it it was amazing
This author is a wonderful storyteller.
Priscilla Fox
Sep 28, 2015 Priscilla Fox rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Priscilla by: Eileen
Great story!
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178072
Diane Margaret Pearson was born on 5 November 1931 in Croyden, London, England, daughter of Miriam Harriet Youde and William Holker. She spent a large part of her childhood with her grandparents in a village on the Surrey/Kent borders. She attended Secondary School in Croyden. She became in 1975, the second wife of the Irish actor and physician Richard Leeper McClelland (aka Richard Leech). Widow ...more
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