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Firefly Summer

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  11,244 Ratings  ·  331 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, 646 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Dell (first published 1987)
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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
Jul 21, 2009 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.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 20, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Jan 20, 2011 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
Jen Westpfahl
Apr 25, 2011 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
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 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
C.M. Barrett
Feb 19, 2013 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.)
Jul 30, 2012 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.
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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 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!!
Mar 24, 2010 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.
Aug 17, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, with 645 pages! Didn't want it to end!
Jul 14, 2014 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.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually choose to read Maeve Binchy's novels as comfort reads. However, I am also well aware there is more to her work than comfort. She has a gentle, but nevertheless, intrinsic feminist streak in all her works which enhances them without detracting from their merit for non-feminist readers. In Firefly Summer, one of the American protagonists states that she has tried to help the women in the small Irish village in which she lives for a short time, combining her profession and romantic intere ...more
Dec 25, 2016 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
Jennifer Tanabe
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this Maeve Binchy novel as one of my summer reads, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. There are a lot of characters, but most of them are quite well differentiated - there's the central family the Ryans, their children, all the other children in the village, the American group, and all the parents and other obvious types in the village like the priests, the postmistress, the doctor, etc. Binchy gives them all characters as well as jobs/roles, and they interact in interesting ways w ...more
A good book. Binchy was true to form with really well developed characters ... I felt like I knew the whole town intimately. And they were very realistic in their complexity. But in the end, I wasn't drawn in quite enough to love it. There wasn't enough tying certain aspects together and I didn't particularly love the ending, honestly. I wanted a bit more from it and it fell a bit flat.
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.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book took a little longer to get into than other books I've read by this author. But, I did end up enjoying it. There were a few unexpected twists that surprised me and kept me interested. I would recommend reading it.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent!! Reread this old Binchy book, the first of hers that I had ever read. Didn't remember it, but loved it again. Now to read Light a Penny Candle again.
Sue Evans
Dec 25, 2016 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.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a Maeve Binchy book that I had not heard of. A satisfying read. Once again I love her character portrayal and bIrish dialogue and humour.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent read from Maeve Binchy about life and change in a small Irish settlement in the 1960s. ❤ ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Finally done with the Binchy tome. Despite that I actually enjoyed the three novels a fair amount, that's the last time I'll be mocking a friend's summer reading shelf. Lesson learned.
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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
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