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Firefly Summer

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  10,920 Ratings  ·  318 Reviews
It was a summer of warmth.... Kate Ryan and her  husband, John, have a rollicking pub in the Irish  village of Mountfern... lovely twelve-year-old  twins... and such wonderful dreams.... It was a summer  of innocence... but all that is about to change  this fateful summer of 1962 when American  millionaire Patrick O'Neill comes to town with his  irresistible charm and a po ...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published July 1st 1989 by Dell (first published 1987)
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Carol You know...while reading this...I was so happy about the fire starting and possibly being a blessing to the Ryan's, (because it would save their…moreYou know...while reading this...I was so happy about the fire starting and possibly being a blessing to the Ryan's, (because it would save their business) that I did't care who started it!!! But now that someone has asked...I think it would be interesting to know that someone started it on purpose because of their love of the Ryan's. Does that make me a bad person? I bet it does. I don't care!!
Maeve wrote this book so wonderfully that you actually fell in love with almost all of the characters. It was a really great read!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Obsidian
I seem to be having issues with really getting into Maeve Binchy's earliest works. This one, "Firefly Summer" went on forever. There were way too many characters to keep track of, lack of character development though some characters reach epiphanies, an overall plot, and several side plots, and an abrupt ending to the whole thing.

Starting in 1962, the main focus of "Firefly Summer" is the Ryan family living in the Irish village of Mountfern. Parents John and Kate have five children (Twins Dara
...more
Laura
Jul 21, 2009 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was excruciatingly slow in the beginning, quite interesting and fun in the middle, and then quite abrupt and melodramatic at the end. It's as if she didn't know how to end the book so she just had a huge catastrophe happen and then bang, it was over. Definitely my least favorite Maeve Binchy so far.
Chris
Feb 13, 2017 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireland, popular
Thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in the lives of the people of a small village-Mountfern- in Ireland. The novel spans about 4 years starting from the time Patrick O'Neill from the U.S. comes to Mountfern in search of a connection with his heritage as he rebuilds a ruined castle/manor as a luxury hotel. The wealthy Patrick & his children impact nearly all the villagers and their livelihoods in
some way. I could so see myself conversing & enjoying friendship with many of the characters espe
...more
Beth
Aug 20, 2007 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read a Maeve Binchy book and picked this one off the library shelf because it had the neatest title. : ) I almost quit reading after the first chapter because Binchy's punctuation is random at best, but I kept reading and ended up enjoying the book pretty well. Binchy creates a huge cast of amazingly real and quirky characters who populate a small Irish town and then shows all the effects that ripple through their lives and relationships when a rich American comes to build a hotel th ...more
Amanda
Jan 20, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firefly Summer tells the story of the sleepy town of Mountfern, as an American, Patrick O'Brian, comes home to find his roots and build a huge hotel on the ruined location of the old house. It explores the changing relationships of the townsfolk as a tragic accident divides Mountfern. There is not masses of plot in the book; rather, it builds a picture of Irish village life in the 1950s as we spend a few years with the family of Ryans who own the public house.

Maeve Binchy's books are incredibly
...more
Jen Westpfahl
Apr 25, 2011 Jen Westpfahl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve ready about 10 of Binchy’s 15 novels and this is among my favorites (along with “Scarlet Feather,” “Light a Penny Candle” and “Circle of Friends”). Most of her novels, including this one, are set in Ireland in the mid-20th century and have a slew of well developed characters.

“Firefly Summer” spans four years in the 1960s and focuses on what happens to a small town when an American millionaire (with his two teen children and former mistress in tow) comes in to build a huge hotel. It culminat
...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
In Binchy's 1987 novel, an American moves his family to the rural Irish town of Mountfern
Adam Dunn
Aug 10, 2012 Adam Dunn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Binchy and a great slice of Irish small town life.

Reading a Maeve Binchy book is like sitting down with an old friend over a cup of tea and I was saddened to hear of her recent passing. Although I had read this book previously, it was long enough ago that I forgot most of it.

Like the best of her books, this one is thick and yet goes down as easily as pie, the length is what makes it good, and you never want it to end. The UK version is over 900 pages and I've seen reviews saying it need
...more
C.M. Barrett
Feb 19, 2013 C.M. Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although it's a tough choice, I think this is my favorite Binchy book, and I've read most of them. Her unique gift to juggle many points of view in a novel is particularly impressive in this book. Date I finished this book is impossible to say, as I've read it so many times. (I've never read a Binchy book just once.)
Diane
Jul 30, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago and remember loving it and also sobbing in parts! I just read on USA Today's site that Maeve Binchy passed just today from a brief illness. We have lost such a wonderful story teller, but are blessed for having known her books--she will be missed!
Kathy Ludwig
I really liked this book. It was hard to put it down because there was so much going on and I found myself caught up in all the characters. For people who like her books I would recommend this one.
Yaya
Jul 14, 2008 Yaya rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Roos
Here's what I thought about the Characters:

Kerry O'Neill
I don't know what is wrong with this kid. He's so unbelievingly spoiled narcissist person. Sometimes I feel like want to slap him.

Patrick O'Neill
Still can't decide whether to hate or like him. He's a hard man to like, yet I can't hate him just like that.

Kate Ryan
I love Kate, she loves her family more than anything. She is even willing to do anything for her fam.
Hillary Bidwell
Nov 21, 2008 Hillary Bidwell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I keep reading Maeve Binchy books. A ton of nonsense told in a very long and drawn out way, then a dumb ending. I have one more to read and then that is it!! Seriously, 768 pages to get to that ending. You have got to be kidding me.
Julie McCahill
Jun 22, 2012 Julie McCahill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this long book in 2 days...ok, I was flying back from Europe, but I couldn't put it down. Loved everything about it! Has a great heroine and an evil villain for sure!!
Courtenay
Mar 24, 2010 Courtenay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I doubt I will finish this book. I don't need to read Maeve Binchy again.
Beth
Aug 17, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read and reread this book and I enjoy it every time I go back to it. There aren't many books that I read more than once.
Linda Wells
Jan 12, 2017 Linda Wells rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, with 645 pages! Didn't want it to end!
Kaethe
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I like this well enough, but it isn't one that stands out in my mind.
Tracey
Dec 25, 2016 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maeve-binchy
I am a big fan of Maeve Binchy so I'm always going to give a good review for a novel of hers. This is a story of family, friendship, tragedy and coming of age. All of these themes are interwoven into a story of a small Irish town and it's residents.

The Ryan family are the central characters, they own a pub located near an old ruined manor. A rich American, Patrick O'Neil, whose family once worked in the ruins moves to the sleepy town of Mountfern with the intention of building the Manor to its
...more
Shelly
I started reading this book by mistake. I thought it was a different Maeve Binchy book that I wanted to re-read. I nearly put it aside because it was dragging, but then all of a sudden...I did find it slow in parts, but am glad I finished it.
Sue Evans
Dec 25, 2016 Sue Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting story but could have been a bit shorter. Also, there were so many characters, it was difficult to keep track of them all.
Laura Luchsinger
Mar 18, 2017 Laura Luchsinger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just couldn't get into this book, and I really don't know why?
Shawn
Mar 07, 2017 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a wonderful thing when a book takes you to a new place (even when you should be sleeping). Great story.
Pam
Jan 16, 2017 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to read this book to take me away after reading/watching too many sad stories recently and it was just right. I was able to lose myself if the people of Mountfern's lives for more than a week - almost like a little vacation to Ireland in the 1960's. Was it the best book I've ever read? No, but it was definitely a nice change and a place to delve into to get away from reality for awhile. Glad to be reading Binchy again.

demesne (page 83) - definitely looked this up in a book before,
...more
Morgan
Feb 24, 2017 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my particular favourites of Binchy. While it is a lengthy epistle I had no difficulty getting through it. I think having it take place of a span of 4 years made it easily digestible. I had mixed feelings about some of the characters as is apt to happen in her writing. I was engaged throughout the whole book. The ending seemed a little abrupt.
Mary Pond
Actually, I read this book, long ago.
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 1/23/17: http://readinglark.blogspot.com/2017/...

Firefly Summer is an in-depth look at the inhabitants of a small Irish town called Mountfern during the 1960's. The story begins with the town all abuzz at the sale of Fernscourt, the ruins of a great estate that was burned by disgruntled workers. The ruins are a symbol of the town's fight against oppression and wealth, but everything will change when Patrick O'Neill comes to town.

O'Neill has bought the ruins and pla
...more
Laurel-Rain
Nov 16, 2012 Laurel-Rain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in an Irish village in the 1960s, "Firefly Summer" is a story about people, especially those connected to one another by traditions, love of family, and their hopes and dreams.

So when a very wealthy American comes to town, determined to build a hotel in the place where beautiful ruins now stand, the reactions of the townsfolk are mixed. Some see his plans as a way to bring new life into the village, while others focus on what they might lose. How the character of the village will change, and
...more
Hege
I bought this book at an impuls at the grocery store, as I liked what was written in the back cover....

"Kate and John Ryan have four children, of which the eldest are Michael and Dara. Their small town is peaceful and friendly, an unchanging background for a golden childhood. In long, hot summers Dara and Michael and their friends fish and swim or play in the ivy-clad ruins of Fernscourt, the great house burned down during the Troubles...

No one in Mountfern has the slightest inkling of what it w
...more
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Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of four. Her parents were very positive and provided her with a happy childhood. Although she described herself as an overweight child, her parents' attitude gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she was.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved travelin
...more
More about Maeve Binchy...

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