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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;

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    22
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    9
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    11
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    14
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    6
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    1

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Linda
  • Ceylon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 08-22-07

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Marlene
  • Wolfville, NS, Canada
  • 01-20-14

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.

  • 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.

  • Overall
  • E
  • Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
  • 04-26-09

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

  • Overall
  • Paula
  • BlacktownAustralia
  • 10-20-07

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

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  • Overall
  • Elaine Calderwood
  • 11-04-07

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mec
  • 12-01-13

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Fae Howard
  • 09-01-15

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 .

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sarah
  • 04-10-11

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • CantVal
  • 09-08-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Priscilla
  • 08-17-13

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anne
  • 02-20-11

A great listen

I loved listening to this audio book, it was well read with lots of feeling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • N. Fail
  • 11-14-15

Outstanding narrator

I've read Maeve Binchys books over the years and enjoyed everyone. Listening to this one has been a pure joy! Kate's read of the book put so much into it, her feeling and voices gave the story another dynamic, it was like listening to family life. Will certainly be listening to the rest!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ms
  • 07-31-13

Heartwarming

If you could sum up Firefly Summer in three words, what would they be?

Emotional<br/>Enjoyable<br/>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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maggie Parker
  • 04-12-13

Another winner

Well what a great book, I stumbled across Maeve Binchy a while back but this one is the best so far I loved the story and I loved the narrator's lovely Irish lilt Kate Binchy just adds to the enjoyment, close your eyes and your there. Wonderful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lynn Turton
  • 08-15-17

Pure joy

Fantastic and cleverly written with amazing dialogue and beautiful humour. Brilliantly narrated. Loved it all.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-07-17

Enjoyable

i found this book enjoyable despite the fact it didn't seem to have a real hook or edge to it, it was just a story that you wanted to keep listening to. The narrator was marvelous.