“Outstanding, terrfic - so well written I loved every page!”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“slow paced and artfully self conscious and therefore tedious .”see full review » see other reviews »
“Do I recommend this book?Hell,no. I finished it just to be able to write this honestly. I was annoyed 10 pages into the book, but I wanted to give it a fair chance. It did not redeem itself.The writing is awkward, filled with details you don't care about (she thought of having an egg, but didn't.She wasn't hungry; She put the pan on the stove.When the lid rattled, she turned the heat down.) The main character in the book falls in love with this guy because? All he has done is rode his bicycle and asked for some directions; taken pictures at a funeral (without asking permission, if I may add) and carried her bag once. Love is never ordinary. It is surprising that a writer hailed as a master can make it sound so.”Sangs B wrote this review Tuesday, January 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Trevor is a master: in his hands, language becomes putty and time assumes thickness. Without peer in English, except perhaps Marilynne Robinson.”Karan Deep Singh wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Outstanding, terrfic - so well written I loved every page!”John Gilchrist wrote this review Thursday, August 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This review contains spoilers.
I read this quickly after finishing my first book by Trevor, his previous novel "The Story of Lucy Gault" (2002). While I didn't find "Love and Summer" to be as spectacular, it was still wonderful, treating many of the themes - the irrevocably of decisions made and unmade, forced conformity to social standards, and institutional decline - with the same sensitivity and honesty.
While we usually associate funerals and death with separation, "Love and Summer," William Trevor's fourteenth novel, shows how it can just as easily lead to passionate connections. On the death of Mrs. Eileen Connulty, the young amateur artist Florian Kilderry intends to photograph the funeral procession through the town of Rathmoye. He stops to ask a young woman, Ellie Dillahan, for directions, and they are mutually taken with one another. Ellie, a foundling raised from childhood in a nearby convent, has been taken in as a housekeeper and was eventually married to Mr. Dillahan, a kindly, older, loving farmer with good intentions, but whose slow, regular life fails to satisfy the young Ellie. The death of his first wife and their child in a horrible farm accident also hunts him constantly. During their first encounter, Florian is taken with Ellie's innocence, and she is drawn to him because he stands for something - anything - outside of her small farm and her life of daily routine.
Florian idles for much of the book, occupying his parents' house while he waits for a buyer to appear, all the while thinking about his meetings with Ellie and his parents' artistic pasts. Over time, they meet more and begin an affair. He eventually tells her that, after selling the house, he plans to move to Scandinavia. Ms. Connulty, the daughter of the deceased woman whose funeral originally brought Florian and Ellie together, watches what she perceives to be Florian's encroachment on Ellie's life with suspicion. Ms. Connulty and a curious, verbose man by the name of Orpen Wren cast a shadow over the relationship of Ellie and Florian. In the middle of the night, Ellie slips out of the farmhouse to meet Florian on the road to give Florian one last embrace before assuming the only choice she ever really had - to live out the rest of her life with her harmless, unexciting, damaged husband.
It may just be the sentimentalist in me, but Trevor captures the poignancies and ambiguities in life with a wonderful tenderness. He can catch those feelings that pass between the quick silences in conversations that we so often look over, and a beautiful way of making even the pedestrian occurrence highly poetic. I already have "Fools of Fortune" and "Death in Summer," two of his other novels, and very much look forward to reading and reviewing them soon. For those new to Trevor, I recommend "The Story of Lucy Gault," his second-to-last novel, and probably the best work of fiction that I've read in the last year.
“slow paced and artfully self conscious and therefore tedious .”shelley l wrote this review Wednesday, July 13, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I appreciated this book the most when I had finished it. So many things came together for me at the end and left an impression. The novel is beauitifully written. I went into this novel with a false impression of it. The title and length of the novel gave me an impression that it would be more of a summer read... I think this wrong assumption got in the way of me enjoying it more when reading it. For this reason, I would like to read it again. ”Michele F wrote this review Thursday, June 16, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Short, sad, and rather insubstantial story of a love affair between a farmwife and an ungrounded young man in Ireland. Beautiful imagery and language, evocation of the small town and its cultural norms. But it doesn't go very deep into the main characters and for that reason seems to falter a bit.”Shannolater wrote this review Wednesday, May 18, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“kindle”cathyb437 b wrote this review Saturday, April 30, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Oh, I love his writing....
Sad, but not as sad as usual, nor as bleak. Love the way he portrays village life”
“The New York Times described Trevor's Love and Summer as, "a thrilling work of art." I would have to disagree. "Thrilling" is not a word that should be anywhere near this book. Another reviewer I read said, "William Trevor's languidly paced novel is like summer itself: brief but charged with the beauty and passion of that longed for season." This was my first Trevor novel and his hallmark seems to be noticing the ordinary. For me, the novel's simplicity and subtlety fell over the line from art into boring. It felt more like an author's writing exercise in description, not the careful unfolding of a story. In fact, sometimes it gets a little muddy in its telling because it's so caught up in descriptive detail. Even the warm, authentic Irish accent of the audio version's reader couldn't bring this book to life for me. Bottom line: I never cared about the characters enough to feel their emotions or care about their ultimate outcomes.
I will likely try Trevor again, maybe some of his short stories, but I'm not in a rush to do so.”