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A Shower Of Summer Days

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The Irish estate home Dene’s Court has been empty for years—its icy visage, shuttered windows, and overgrown tennis court are a burden for its caretakers and a curiosity for the nearby townspeople. And so the announcement that Violet Dene Gordon and her husband, Charles, are on their way back from British Burma to settle in the long-dormant estate sends a ripple of excitem ...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published 1952 by Rinehart
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3.62  · 
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 ·  124 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a house and three people intricately bound to each other, and to the house itself, by a mesh of memories and remembered passion, stretching far back into the past...

I have to say, this was a perfect summer read! It's absorbing, wistfully lovely, not overly dense or complex. And yet, there's real substance to it. Every glance, every breath, every gust of wind in this novel has meaning.

I said in the comment section that I liked yet disliked Sarton's writing...but I couldn't ar
Bree (AnotherLookBook)
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Woolf & Sackville-West
A novel about an aging couple who return to their country estate in Ireland, and the American niece who comes to spend the summer with them. 1952.

Full review at Another look book

Sarton is best known for her journals foremost, then for her poetry. Her fiction is a perfect blend of the two: raw, revealing, and introspective, with prose that flows along beautifully. This book doesn't contain much plot (although what it does contain is enjoyable). The point of the book is what the characters are fee
David Edmonds
Nov 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A quiet novel, that at first seems to be about the relationships between the protagonists: Violet Dene Gordon and her husband, Charles, who have recently returned to Violet's family home of Dene's Court in Ireland, and Violet's American niece, Sally, who has made a poor attachment to an actor in the States, when in fact the entire novel is truly about emotion, and what happens when emotions become too volatile within a small group of people in an enclosed space. The enclosed space, in this case,
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
An old imposing stone home in the countryside in Ireland is as much a character as any of the Dane family that have owned it (or been owned by it) for generations. A middle aged couple return from Burma--Violet, a fading beauty, narcissistic with attendant guilt for the damage her beauty has caused and Charles her philandering husband, taking on the role of country gentleman. Into this mix steps Sally, the young American niece, a Vassar college student, who has formed "an unsuitable attachment" ...more
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
A lovely, wildly introspective novel about a middle-aged couple and their young American niece, who all spend the summer at the family's ancestral home in rural Ireland. This is a book that has little use for plot, as it's focused squarely on the inner lives of the characters, and the impact of our surroundings, past experiences, and worldview on how we interact with those around us. There was something very meditative and comforting about this book, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Sa ...more
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
A middle-aged Anglo-Irish couple return to the wife's childhood summer home. This has some of the elements of a gothic novel, with the house, the weather, and ancestral portraits all playing far too great a role in the story. A young woman, the wife's American niece, arrives on the scene and emotions become overwrought for no apparent reason.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland, read-in-2017
"This is the story of a house and of three people intricately bound to each other, and to the house itself, by a mesh of memories and remembered passion, stretching far back into the past.

"Violet Dene Gordon, returning to Dene's Court with her husband, Charles, after an absence of thirty years, intensely loved her childhood home, but had reason to fear the long shadow of her unhappy sister, Barbara. Now Barbara's child, Sally, was coming for a visit, supposedly to make her forget her infatuation
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went on a May Sarton binge for awhile, and though I really enjoyed a few of them, they began to be repetitive. After I read the biography of her--authorized by herself--I lost most of my respect for her and the picture she painted of herself. This novel did hold my interest, though, and there is no doubt she was a good writer. The Small Room, as far as her novels, was superior to this one, I think.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100books2017, fiction
Sarton is one of my favorite authors; I love the raw honesty of her journals and her poetry. Her fiction is often quiet, like this story set in an old family home in Ireland. There isn't a lot of plot but it's a book about self-realization and emotion.
Just a note to say that I have picked this one up and started reading it. You know how sorbet cleanses the palate after a heavy meal, or mint refreshes the mouth after a sour taste? This book is refreshing me and helping get rid of the nasty after taste from a particularly crummy book I just read. I'm not sure why I persisted with the other book- I was annoyed by content, writing style and liberal alterations of facts. The story wsan't brilliant, or even clever. I must be a true mad woman to hav ...more
Josee Leclerc
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
It is almost at the end of the book that I realized how Sally felt how important were the ancestors' picture, the similitude she had with one of them and how powerful it is to be recognize as part of a clan. May Sarton knew how to use words to describe emotions and sensations for us readers to feels the continuity from one generation to the others having to live in Dene's Court.
Deborah Schuff
May 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is one of four May Sarton novels my mother was pruning from her library. They looked interesting, so I decided to read them before relinquishing them to the AAUW's used book sale. This is a thoughtful, yet delightful story which could easily be made into one of those charming English films. I enjoyed the interplay among the three, then four, main characters.
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Some of the prose in this was very beautiful, but it did not work for me, and I am not certain why. The very strong emotions and the concrete descriptions are usually something I like, and I did like it somewhat, but it never came together in a way that made me feel I was reading something true.
Mar 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I couldn't even finish this. The characters just seemed so...odd.
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I could I would give this 4.5
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Lovely prose; strong sense of place; boring
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Deborah M Tuttle
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Dale Jasinski
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May Sarton was born on May 3, 1912, in Wondelgem, Belgium, and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her first volume of poetry, Encounters in April, was published in 1937 and her first novel, The Single Hound, in 1938. An accomplished memoirist, Sarton boldly came out as a lesbian in her 1965 book Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing. Her later memoir, Journal of a Solitude, was an account of h ...more