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Firefly Summer | [Maeve Binchy]

Firefly Summer

"Firefly Summer is warm, humorous, sad and happy. Reading it is a joy." (Irish Independent) In the summer of 1962, an American millionaire arrives in a small, sleepy Irish town with far-reaching consequences. For the children of the Ryan family, the long hot summers are usually spent playing in the ruins of a large, abandoned house. But when the American, Patrick O'Neill, buys the ruins, dreams are made and broken and secrets which should never be revealed are betrayed.
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Publisher's Summary

"Firefly Summer is warm, humorous, sad and happy. Reading it is a joy." (Irish Independent )

In the summer of 1962, an American millionaire arrives in a small, sleepy Irish town with far-reaching consequences.

For the children of the Ryan family, the long hot summers are usually spent playing in the ruins of a large, abandoned house. But when the American, Patrick O'Neill, buys the ruins, dreams are made and broken and secrets which should never be revealed are betrayed.

Firefly Summer tells interlocking stories of love lost and won during four fateful years in the life of a close-knit Irish community.

©1987 Maeve Binchy;

What the Critics Say

"Totally engrossing.... Unforgettable.... An absolutely grand story.... A lyrical and compelling family drama.... Mountfern and its residents come vibrantly alive." (The Plain Dealer)
"The secrets hidden behind lace curtains, a young girl's first kiss, children's summer games, unexpected pregnancies, sudden deaths. She makes us feel as if we also know the place and the people.... One of those good, old-fashioned stories that are as comfortable and comforting as home itself." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (44 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
3.8 (21 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Story
4.2 (23 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Linda Ceylon, Saskatchewan, Canada 08-22-07
    Linda Ceylon, Saskatchewan, Canada 08-22-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    134
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Inviting"

    Maeve Binchy pulled me right in from the opening paragraph. I couldn't help but feel that the characters were my own neighbours and friends. It was a delightful story and one which I would highly recommend.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue 06-14-15
    Sue 06-14-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Firefly Summer to be better than the print version?

    Had not read print version


    What other book might you compare Firefly Summer to and why?

    Any Maeve story or Cathy Kelly or Erica James


    Which character – as performed by Kate Binchy – was your favorite?

    Eddy such a loveable character


    Who was the most memorable character of Firefly Summer and why?

    So many to choose from. They were all very intricate and each character had a great story to tell.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved the long story and feel very sad I've finished. I shall miss the whole of The Irish country town.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny Kavanagh Toronto 04-05-14
    Penny Kavanagh Toronto 04-05-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not up to her standards"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story wasn't exciting and there were too many characters


    Would you be willing to try another book from Maeve Binchy? Why or why not?

    I have listened to most of her books, but this one was disappointing.


    What about Kate Binchy’s performance did you like?

    She does a good job in changing her voice for the various characters.


    Do you think Firefly Summer needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No please.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlene Wolfville, NS, Canada 01-20-14
    Marlene Wolfville, NS, Canada 01-20-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very poor quality audio--read far to fast"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator spoke far too quickly, mumbled, used irritating voices especially for the children. I couldn't listen at all.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 05-29-13
    Linda 05-29-13 Member Since 2015

    My reviews are rather simple but only because I want to convey my impressions of a story. I leave summaries to the publisher. LOVE Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    219
    65
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kate Binchy Is A Natural"

    Firefly Summer is one of those books that just takes me away. I am a huge Maeve Binchy Fan because I always feel like I am one of the gang. Kate Binchy's narration is nothing short of wonderful. I felt like closing my eyes and riding the wave.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E Thunder Bay, ON, Canada 04-26-09
    E Thunder Bay, ON, Canada 04-26-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    13
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Okay but not memorable"

    A good solid 'read' with well developed characters that transported me into a time of enormous change around the world. I did look forward to turning it on, but then when it was all done, I didn't regret that there was no more.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula BlacktownAustralia 10-20-07
    Paula BlacktownAustralia 10-20-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Annoying"

    I found the narrator's voice very annoying. Especially when she talks in the childs voice. I actually turned the story off as I couldn't understand half of what she was saying. Personally I felt this download was a waste of money and I should read the book instead.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • elainecalderwood
    Kilmarnock, Scotland
    11/4/07
    Overall
    "Firefly Summer - A Must Read"

    What a great book a must read for Maeve Binchy fans. I loved the story and I loved the narrator as Kate Binchy narrates in the lovely Irish lilt which adds to the sheer enjoyment.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, United Kingdom
    4/10/11
    Overall
    "Good but disappointing ending"

    I really enjoyed this book but was surprised when it ended, I actually rewound it to check there wasn't something wrong and it'd skipped to the end! It just finishes when you expect there to be more. So apart from that I would recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fae Howard
    UK
    9/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fabulous Maeve Binchy at her best"
    Would you listen to Firefly Summer again? Why?

    Yes it's a great story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Firefly Summer?

    Some of the more shocking twists and turns .


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Too many to have favourites


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes...And I limited myself because I didn't want it to end


    Any additional comments?

    Can't praise it enough . A good down to earth story fabulous characters real life at its best. . Nothing smaltzy or predictable .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    2/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Capturing Childhood"

    This turned out differently than I thought, and for the better. It really captured what it is like to be a child and how important the little things are; and how vital friends are in your day to day life.

    An American turns up in a small, Irish town to build a hotel in the local ruins all the local kids play in and use as their gang hut. The American's children capture the attention of the twins and you grow with them as the hotel breaks ground and chugs towards completion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Dunstable, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Vintage Maeve Binchy"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Firefly Summer to be better than the print version?

    I think the audio edition is a perfect way to enjoy this book which has many characters and spans four years.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character in the book is Mrs Ryan who is a hard working republicans wife with four young children. As the story develops she has to deal with and overcome many problems.


    What about Kate Binchy’s performance did you like?

    Kate Binchy's narration is excellent. She has a broad Irish accent but is very easy to follow. She develops each individual character well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This is a long book so took me a while to finish but I always looked forward to getting back to it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a Maeve Binchy fan you won't be dissapointed, and if you have not read her books before give this one a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • JEAN
    Weymouth, United Kingdom
    10/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing performance."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Difficult to listen or engage with this book because of the fast pace it is read at. Trying to slow it down makes it inaudible.Not sure if I can persevere for the whole book - expensive mistake.


    If you’ve listened to books by Maeve Binchy before, how does this one compare?

    Poorly. The reason I bought a second book by Maeve Binchy was because of the first excellent book I enjoyed listening to recently.
    Unable to rate this book because I can't follow the content.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Read much too fast to follow or enjoy.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    All three emotions. Anger at waste of money, sad about missing out on the book and disappointment as I only get one credit per month.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I could obtain a refund.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Valerie
    Canterbury, United Kingdom
    9/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Mother & Daughter tour de force"

    Is there anyone left who has not fallen under the spell of the inimitable Maeve Binchy? I have, of course, already read everything she wrote but the added dimension brought to the stories by the narration of Kate Binchy raises them to perfection. The humanity and gentle humour of the writing is brought into sharp focus by Kate and from the moment that you step through the door into the world of Mountfern you will be drawn into the lives of all the characters coping with potential disruption to their way of life by the purchase of the ruined 'great' house by and American business man trying to get back to what he fondly imagines are his roots. The loves and losses, triumphs and disasters that follow and the creation of characters about whom you really care are the hall marks of this wonderful novelist whose books were once described as sitting down for a good gossip with a friend.

    If you have not encountered her before you have a real treat ahead of you, if like me you have read the books then I would suggest that you will also find that the narration breathes a triumphant new life through the story for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Priscilla
    Killara, Australia
    8/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fun listen about life in a small Irish town"

    It's a lovely book to end a busy day with. I listen to it before I go to sleep. The story is easy to follow, the narrator's voice is pleasant and it's realistic enough not to be too sugary. It does take a while to get into, but if you stick to it, you'll be rewarded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    Harwich, United Kingdom
    7/31/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heartwarming"
    If you could sum up Firefly Summer in three words, what would they be?

    Emotional
    Enjoyable
    Entertaining


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Firefly Summer?

    When the leading character Kate was injurred


    Did Kate Binchy do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    To begin with I couldn't warm to her voice at all because she sounded too old and querulous but after a while I became used to it and the way she portrayed the mischievous child was great


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • beverley whitby
    ALVASTON, DERBY United Kingdom
    6/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lovely story, yet with all the gritty bits"
    What made the experience of listening to Firefly Summer the most enjoyable?

    Kate Binchy's narration is fantastic


    What other book might you compare Firefly Summer to, and why?

    The Casual Vacancy - good story with the gritty bits of death, serious injury and human frailty


    What does Kate Binchy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Kate reads well, she gives voices to the characters that you recognise. I have listened to a few books via Audible now, and I think there is something special there wih Kate's reading. I am only downloading Meave Binchy books read by Kate at the moment - although I listened to a Week in Winter and enjoyed Caroline Lennon too!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Kate Ryan got hit by the JCB. I listen to the book walking the dogs, my knees went weak.


    Any additional comments?

    Oh dear, this has made me very lazy, I hardly read at all now. But, I can listen in the car, listen walking the dogs - places where you could not read - so I am multi tasking - using all my senses!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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