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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Trevor
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...
Published on 30 Jun. 2010 by Alexis Paladin

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Ireland's Dead and Gone
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...
Published on 27 Sept. 2009 by Lucia Tilling


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Trevor, 30 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Love and Summer (Hardcover)
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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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and evocative, 13 Sept. 2009
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Love and Summer (Hardcover)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The deceptive genius of simplicity, 23 Aug. 2010
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Mr. C. W. Livett "colin Livett" (Hull Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Love and Summer (Paperback)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, skilful and moving, 27 Jun. 2010
By 
Antenna (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Love and Summer (Paperback)
Like some other reviewers, I read this in a single sitting and it is the first William Trevor novel I have read. Far from being "old-fashioned", it was true to life in rural Ireland in the mid C20, as far as I can judge. I liked the realism of it: the focus on the small routines of daily living and the constraints of small-town life. Yet, those of us who live in a very different world may still be able to relate to the nostalgia, the regrets and compromises which in different ways form part of most people's existence. I also admired the smooth development of the plot towards a sad but convincing finale. I disagree with those who found the book confusing. The juxtaposition of characters' thoughts, and the way a person might think one thing while saying something else, formed an effective way of conveying the subtlety of human relationships. Through being understated, the emotions in the book were infinitely more powerful. Many possible tragic endings were implied, but the one chosen was right - possibly predictable, but the manner in which it unfolded was not. The characters were all developed as complex people, with shifting attitudes and different relationships between them.

Minor criticisms are that the last chapter was perhaps a little "fey" and some of the demented old Orpen Wren's monologues did "go on a bit", although this may be justifiable in the light of the denouement.

If the test of a book is whether it moves you to see the world a little differently, this passes. A moving and superbly controlled piece of writing, on a par with Toibin's "Brooklyn", I would have been happy to see this win a prize.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Ireland's Dead and Gone, 27 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Love and Summer (Hardcover)
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In search of lost time..., 8 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Love and Summer (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One great compared with another, 18 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Love and Summer (Paperback)
I'm going to make a partial and what will seem a strange comparison with Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milkwood'. Strange, as Trevor's work is a novel, Thomas's a play; the first is set in Ireland, the second in Wales; Trevor's story plays out under sunshine, Thomas's largely in the bible-black of night; strange, above all, as 'Under Milkwood' is essentially comic, 'Love and Summer' elegiac, tender and sad. But bear with me.

Both communities are tiny backwaters, where it sometimes appears that everyone knows everyone's habits and business, even seem privy to their inner lives, but it is not really so, for wrong assumptions are made, secret affairs carry on, thoughts and emotions, even at their most intense, can remain unrevealed or at least unarticulated.

There are seeming philanderers in both works - No Good Boyo and Florian Kilderry - who have hidden depths. There are apparent fools - Willy Nilly and Orpen Wren - who carry gossip and messages that both elucidate and confuse. 'Under Milkwood' has Polly Garter, whom everyone knows as a tart, who has heartfelt compassion and a tender capacity for love; in 'Love and Summer' the apparently guileless Ellie conducts an affair behind her husband's back, yet never loses her essential innocence or our sympathy.

At the centre of the Rathmoye community is Miss Connulty who at first seems to compare in her bossiness and aggrandisement with Milkwood's Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard, but who we come to see by the end of the novel rather like Captain Cat, seeing more in his blindness than other sighted characters, and with real understanding and empathy for the 'fallen' Polly/Ellie.

I don't mean to carry the comparison any further, and of course the style of the two works is radically different, as is the effect they have on us, but I felt the association throughout my reading of this superb offering by one of our greatest living story-tellers, and I wanted to share it with others.

This review is by David Williams writerinthenorth
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good prose - but I wasn't engaged by the characters or the plot, 31 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Love and Summer (Paperback)
William Trevor writes very well and three of the ten people in our book group absolutely loved this book.
However, I was not engaged by any of the characters and only kept on to the end because it was a set book. Don't misunderstand me, I it was a perfectly 'readable' book, but I didn't look forward to going to bed at night to carry on with it. Normally I read until late, and then if I enjoy the book, I carry on next day when I can slip half an hour's quiet into a busy schedule. A gentle story of country life and the dark haired stranger who disrupts the lives of some of the people in a small village, but not my cup of tea.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Trevor, 10 Sept. 2009
By 
William (Buckinghamshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love and Summer (Hardcover)
Trevor is back on home turf - rural Ireland - with this short, evocative novel. His prose is so lovely and his power as a storyteller undimmed by age. As ever, there are suprises, sub-plots left to the reader to tie up and that faint sense of lurking menace that pervades so much of Trevor's work. Take your time with Love and Summer, because there is so much to enjoy. What a pity he didn't make it onto the Booker short list, but I suppose they cannot award the prize on the strength of an author's huge contribution to English literature over so many years.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull, 28 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Love and Summer (Paperback)
A tale about an illicit love affair in a sleepy Irish town one summer in the 1950s.I was somewhat disappointed by this book. Although very lyrical and beautifully written, the story just did not flow for me. I think the colloquialisms and phrasing had something to do with this. For me, I think it would have been better with a bit more meat to it, a little more depth to the story. I found the characters quite bland and the book as a whole slightly dull. I would have preferred for the central story to have been more elaborated upon. Having said that, it does give a good feel for the way of life in a closely knit community and I could just picture the residents' curtains twitching, etc - everyone knowing everyone else's business. Basically, I think William Trevor is a very good writer, but this book was just not one for me
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Love and Summer
Love and Summer by William Trevor (Paperback - 29 April 2010)
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