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Love and Summer [Paperback]

William Trevor
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

29 April 2010

Love and Summer - a remarkable, heart-rending novel by acclaimed writer William Trevor

'Lingers in the memory as a beautiful meditation on love, belonging and the impossibility of escape' Observer

'Unbearably moving' Spectator

It is summer and a stranger has come to quiet Rathmoye. He is noticed by Ellie, the young convent girl, who is married to Dillahan, a farmer still mourning his first wife. Over the long and warm days, Ellie and the stranger form an illicit attachment. And those in the town can only watch, holding their tongues, as passion, love and fate take their inevitable course.

'A portrait of a brackish rural backwater, complete with family tragedy, sexual scandal, a repressed spinster and a half-crazed ancient retainer . . . delicate, elegiac, written with all Trevor's trademark compassion and understanding' Daily Mail

'A series of wrenching human dramas, which Trevor depicts with kindness and beautiful delicacy' Sunday Telegraph

'Brilliant. Trevor is the ultimate Old Master' Evening Standard

'Beautiful. A flawless work of art' Independent on Sunday

Readers of The Story of Lucy Gault and Felicia's Journey will adore Love and Summer. It will also be cherished by readers of Colm Toibin and William Boyd.

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written eighteen novels and novellas, and hundreds of short stories, for which he has won a number of prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement. In 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. His books in Penguin are: After Rain; A Bit on the Side; Bodily Secrets; Cheating at Canasta; The Children of Dynmouth; The Collected Stories (Volumes One and Two); Death in Summer; Felicia's Journey; Fools of Fortune; The Hill Bachelors; Love and Summer; The Mark-2 Wife; Selected Stories; The Story of Lucy Gault and Two Lives.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 April 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0141042192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141042190
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


I was totally entranced ... a rare book (Ruth Scurr, The Times )

A fabulously benign book ... a work of sympathetic magic (Sebastian Barry, Guardian )

I can't think of anything I've read recently that has chronicled more accurately the thumping chaos of human hearts or felt more questioning and youthful and alive (Julie Myerson, Financial Times ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork in 1928. He has written many novels, and has won many prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. His previous novel The Story of Lucy Gault was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.He is also a celebrated short-story writer and his two-volume Collected Stories was published by Viking Penguin in 2009. In 1999 William Trevor received the prestigious David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement, and in 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. He now lives in Devon.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Ireland's Dead and Gone 27 Sep 2009
It's been a long time since I read anything by William Trevor (30 years?) and so I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel. Yes, it was overly long for the subject matter - as another reviewer has suggested, it might have made a more efficient "long short story". Yes, it was terribly nostalgic and very old fashioned, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I liked the intensity of it, the innocence of a long-gone simple rural Ireland (the young wife and her older husband), simple yet at the same time complex with its newly emerging property-based class system replacing - and aping - the system of the British, Anglo-Irish and Protestants. What is known now about clerical abuse and the structures that enabled it to thrive belie the innocence of the time - I wonder if Trevor had this in mind. For some reason it "Love and Summer" reminded me of "Ryan's Daughter" - the repressed sexuality of the young wife, and the tenderness and kindness of the older husband.
The Connulty twins and the parent to whom each was respectively attached represent two sides of the one coin of the allegedly pre-materialism days that people apparently yearn for: the cold mother who invested more in her son and the father who ultimately stood by his daughter in her time of need. The young lover's decaying house and his besotted artistic parents bring to mind Yeats' "romantic Ireland" being "dead and gone, ... with O'Leary in the grave." Romanticism doesn't feed you, despite its many attractions.
I did enjoy this book, but it rightly didn't win the Booker.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and evocative 13 Sep 2009
By Bluebell TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this book in one sitting and was transported into another world. It's beautifully written: the people and places brought alive by the author's evocative prose. it starts slowly as the characters are fleshed out such that they seem real in the reader's mind. Then, gradually, trouble brews and you fear for the characters and what will happen in the end. A book full of love, hate, shame and longing. I've only read one other William Trevor book, Felicia's Journey, and now wonder why I haven't read more as he's a great writer.
A minor point, but important for older readers, the book has an easy to read type-face.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Trevor 30 Jun 2010
Now well into his eighties William Trevor continues to defy the idea that a writer's best work is completed in his or her youth. Still probably better known as an author of short stories Trevor's most recent three novels; Felicia's Journey, The Story of Lucy Gault and now this one, suggest that latterly he has become just as comfortable using the longer format to explore his recurring theme of deeply repressed emotion and how it has always manages to work its inexorable way to the surface in the end.

Love and Summer, like much of Trevor's work, is set in rural 1950s Ireland and, as usual his slow, considered prose beautifully creates an atmosphere of quiet and stillness beneath which all manner of tempestuous emotions gently simmer. Anyone who has read previous novels may be a little relieved to know that this one is a little less relentlessly tragic than previous works. It is fundamentally a love story which examines the effects of the baggage that anyone, regardless of circumstances, brings to a relationship. As always, Trevor carefully pulls the reader in, gently unfolding his story and its characters often by revealing important events through subsequent reflections on them rather than by reporting them directly. Thus he forces the reader to stay focused, to pay close attention to what is happening and to what his principal characters are thinking and thus he once again creates a powerful, haunting tale of love and loss.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The deceptive genius of simplicity 23 Aug 2010
An,yone who has read previous novels of William Trevor's such as Felicias Journey or The Story of Lucy Gault or collections of short stories such as A Bit On The Side will need no other recommendation other than that this is well up to the high standards of those books.It is set in the rural Ireland of the 1950's and tells the story of Florian,a young stranger who one summer wanders into the life of Ellie a young convent educated girl who has contracted a marriage of convenience to a decent but unexciting widower farmer.The two gradually fall in love and conduct an illicit affair. This against the background of a claustrophobic ,nosey and judgemental rural society.The story is scarcely original and you just feel that it must all end in disaster ,or will it? What makes it stay with you long after you have finished it is Trevors marvellous prose ,so elegant with its understated evocation of character time and place.He has the rare gift of making the universal from the personsal. Cliche ridden comments ? Probably,but you will not find them in Trevors writing.Put simply this is a beautiful book.Highly recommended. Enjoy
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In search of lost time... 8 Sep 2009
The summer of 1950's rural Ireland were longer, hotter. The events of this novel simmer gently to the rhythms of an enclosed world now gone. When the opening sentence of chapter one begins with, "On a June evening some years after the middle of the last century...", I certainly experienced a "Casterbridge" moment.
After burying their mother, the middle-aged Connulty twins (who are said to own half of Rathmoye) reveal a lifelong tolerant dislike of one another; their mother's death meaning release for her while it denotes grief for him. But the most poignant plot-line involves the diletenttish Florian Kilderry and his effect on the recently married Ellie Dillahan whose husband is still trying to come to terms with causing the deaths of his first wife and child. Trevor's achievement is that, very quickly, we come to care about all these characters. Others, some colourful, some mad, emerge as the narrative gathers pace towards the end of the summer.
Time is running out for the young lovers and, when Florian states, "We've had our summer, Ellie", you know that Trevor's world of sunshine from long ago is on the same plain as Hardy's Wessex.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Present
Bought for my mother who found the book very likable but a bit subdued and underestimated so overall average rating but she did appreciate the gift
Published 2 months ago by swanky
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow down to Trevor's pace and enjoy the beautifully-crafted story
`Love and Summer', published in 2008, is another beautiful novella by William Trevor who, despite having written so many books, still writes with a freshness and clarity that... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dr R
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Summer
Not my usual type of reading matter but Trevor had been recommended. I love southern Ireland and Trevor just painted a perfect picture of rural small town Irish living. Read more
Published 6 months ago by brookwoodsue
4.0 out of 5 stars quietly acute
I am so pleased to discover this writer, who observes his characters and their relationships without drama, violence or tricksy structures. Read more
Published 9 months ago by JMac
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Summer
I chose this rating as this is the second of William Trevor's novels I have bought, read and loved. Cannot wait to read more. Thank you for a quick efficient service.
Published 10 months ago by janebeatrixbritnell
2.0 out of 5 stars Love and summer
I felt that the characters were a bit incredible and the storyline was weak. The whole thing seemed a bit old fashioned.
Published 15 months ago by Sue Keane
5.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Nice book, good conditon, arrived on time, can"t say bad word. Everything was ok. I would recommend with no hesitate.
Published 15 months ago by Bart
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to write home about!
I read this because it was our book club choice, otherwise I would probably not have bothered to read it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars An Almost Perfect Novel
A beautiful, almost perfect novel. Trevor's 14th novel is compressed and impressionistic, an elegiac little epic about the interstices of love and loss, desire and kindness, home... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Otto Zappatore
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Read
I was prompted to buy this book because of the review I heard on BBC4'S "A Good Read". This slim volume is indeed a good read - a romance without any schmaltz. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Linda
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