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Love and Summer

by William Trevor

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8655119,525 (3.77)123
Living an unfulfilling existence at the side of a tragic husband, shy orphan Ellie Dillahan begins an affair that forces her to choose between an uncertain future with the man she loves and the desolate life she has built for herself.
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English (47)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Good story of Tipperary in perhaps the 1960s. Love story, almost tragedy but hints that life was able to continue. Trevor is a master of the details of daily life which bring you into the society of the time.
  jgoodwll | Feb 24, 2021 |
A whole novel about an unfulfilled dalliance between two dull characters and extraneous secondary characters and descriptions. I'm a fan of Trevor's short stories, so i was surprised to find this an unmitigated bore. Fortunately it's brief. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
The setting for this understated novel is Rathmoye, a small town in the south of Ireland in the middle of the 20th century. Mrs Connulty, whose family owns most of the buildings in town has died, and the townspeople come out to honor her. However, a young visitor, Florian Kilderry, also makes an appearance in the town, as he is there to take photographs of a theatre owned by the Connultys that burned down years ago. He catches the eye of Miss Connulty, the daughter of the deceased matriarch, and he has a brief but electric interaction with Ellie Dillahan, a former orphan who is now married to a farmer whose first wife and young child died in a tragic accident that he was partially responsible for.

The Dillahan's marriage is a convenient but loveless one for Ellie, as her husband is good to her, but does not inspire her. She falls passionately in love with Florian, who lives in a neighboring town. He is a directionless underachiever, and is in the process of selling his late parents' home, to move to "Scandinavia" to make a new life for himself.

The relationship between Ellie and Florian deepens, and the single, middle-aged Miss Connulty is the only one who perceives the danger of this illicit relationship, as it resembles a tragic experience that she had a young woman. As the date of Florian's departure nears, Ellie falls more deeply in love with him, while realizing that she does not love her husband.

For me, Love and Summer was a beautifully written, quiet novel of love and repression in a small town. The intentions and portrayal of two key characters were unclear to me, which made this an incompletely satisfying, though still very enjoyable, read ( )
  gerrit-anne | Oct 11, 2018 |
Quality of Writing:9.63
Glad you read it?: 9.75
  bookclub4evr | Sep 21, 2018 |
What a beautiful emotional story. It begins with the death of a woman who was an important personage to the little town, since she cared for everyone, but somehow I feel that she was doing all the work of respecting and pleasing her family. Her son, who was always mothered by her, is nothing without her. He lives up to his obligations, but he does not care about his fellow man. Her daughter takes over the household and continues the B & B. She has a past that she recognizes by watching a young farmer's wife and a bon vivant, who by chance come to know each other and have a summer flirtation. There's an old confused man everyone appreciates, but not many take him seriously.
This story is written with great love for the protagonists. One feels their desires, fears and affections. ( )
  Ameise1 | Feb 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
This new novel, except for the accidents that took Mrs. Connulty’s husband and Dillahan’s first wife, is a delicate sort of drama — there is no corpse in the basement, no bomb lies hidden in any drawer — but even so, a reader will have his heart in his mouth for the last 50 pages. And when that heart settles back down, it will be broken and satisfied.
 
Love and Summer is a short novel that comes as close to perfection as may be possible. The publishers have priced it high, sensibly judging that good readers will need no financial inducement – no stickers blazoning "£4 off", no "3 for 2" nonsense – to be persuaded to buy the book.

The setting is characteristic Trevor: a small town somewhere in the Irish Midlands, one in which so little unusual happens that the appearance of a stranger with a camera and a bicycle provokes comment and speculation. Florian Kilderry is "the sole relic of an Italian mother and an Anglo-Irish father, a couple whose devotion to one another had illuminated a marriage in which their foibles were indulged and their creditors charmed as part of everyday life."
added by kidzdoc | editThe Scotsman, Allan Massie (Aug 22, 2009)
 
There is a touch of JD Salinger about William Trevor - except, of course, that Trevor publishes faithfully every few years: novels and collections of stories. He is 81 years old. His last short-story collection, Cheating at Canasta, began, as Roy Foster pointed out, with a masterpiece. "How does Trevor do it?" was Foster's marvelling question. How does he do it? Mysteriously. This vexed, misused and secret word also applies to his new novel, Love and Summer (a title that sings back to an earlier book, Death in Summer). His new work is all about life, and if there are dampers and de-accelerants on that life, it is nevertheless a fabulously benign book - almost, I might say, a work of sympathetic magic, as if to describe a troubled utopia might be to instate it.
added by kidzdoc | editThe Guardian, Sebastian Barry (Aug 22, 2009)
 
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On a June evening some years after the middle of the last century Mrs Eileen Connulty passed through the town of Rathmoye: from Number 4 The Square to Magennis Street, into Hurley Lane, along Irish Street, across Cloughjordan Road to the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer. Her night was spent there.
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Living an unfulfilling existence at the side of a tragic husband, shy orphan Ellie Dillahan begins an affair that forces her to choose between an uncertain future with the man she loves and the desolate life she has built for herself.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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