Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Summer of the Barshinskeys” as Want to Read:
The Summer of the Barshinskeys
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Summer of the Barshinskeys, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Summer of the Barshinskeys

The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie SmithEast of Eden by John SteinbeckRebecca by Daphne du MaurierMisery by Stephen KingMacbeth by William Shakespeare
The Vilest Woman in Fiction
44th out of 75 books — 63 voters
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo IshiguroThe House at Riverton by Kate MortonBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn WaughA Room with a View by E.M. ForsterHowards End by E.M. Forster
Downton Abbey-esque Books
448th out of 504 books — 874 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 306)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
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
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
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
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
I. Love. This. Book.
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.
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.
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.
Mar 21, 2015 Zaretnsa rated it really liked it
I really liked this book.
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...
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!
Nov 04, 2013 Dev rated it it was amazing
Fabulous read about growing up, family, love, and sacrifice. Written very well . . .
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!
Miriam Hannah
Miriam Hannah marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Mrs Paula M Foulsham
Mrs Paula M Foulsham marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
Nancy H
Nancy H marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2016
B.THOMPSON marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2016
Kim marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Joyce marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Twen marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2016
Donna rated it it was amazing
Jan 28, 2016
Lori added it
Jan 27, 2016
S marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2016
Sandy marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2016
Steven Scoular
Steven Scoular rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2016
Catherine marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Summer Day Is Done
  • This Side of Glory (Plantation Trilogy, #3)
  • Golden Urchin
  • At the Going Down of the Sun (Sheridans, #1)
  • The Proud Breed
  • Zemindar
  • Feathers in the Fire
  • My Lord Monleigh
  • Son of a Hundred Kings
  • Circle of Spies (The Culper Ring, #3)
  • Bedelia
  • The Tyrant (The Golden Chronicles, #3)
  • Frances's Story (Quantock Quartet, #2)
  • The Property of a Gentleman
  • The Pirate Queen
  • This Time Tomorrow
  • Daffodils (The Katherine Wheel #1)
  • Heart of Lies (Irish Angel, #2)
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
More about Diane Pearson...

Share This Book