If you’re lucky enough to be able to spend this sub-frigid day in bed and are looking for a good read, I recommend “Firefly Summer” by Maeve Binchy. And yes, it’s available for Kindle, so you don’t even need to venture to the library!
I’ve ready about 10 of Binchy’s 15 novels and this is among my favorites (along with “Scarlet Feather,” “Light a Penny Candle” and “Circle of Friends”). Most of her novels, including this one, are set in Ireland in the mid-20th century and have a slew of well developed characters.
“Firefly Summer” spans four years in the 1960s and focuses on what happens to a small town when an American millionaire (with his two teen children and former mistress in tow) comes in to build a huge hotel. It culminates with the hotel’s grand opening, which ends in a very unexpected way.
Along the way there is teen romance, blackmail, two tragic accidents that change the residents’ lives dramatically, an unexpected but touching friendship, loyalty challenges and much more. There is a whole town full of characters, yet you get to know each one and have no trouble keeping them straight, which I often find challenging in novels with so many people.
I will admit I lost several hours of much-needed sleep toward the end of this book. The ending was not at all what I expected yet after reading it, I could imagine no other ending.
** My dear friend Katie asked me to review the 26 books I’m reading this year and this is the first installment. It’s hard to encapsulate a novel without giving too much away! I have now started Sarah Susanka’s “Not So Big Life.” I already see that this one might inspire a lot more than one review post. **