Firefly Summer by Maeve Binchy

By Maeve Binchy

It used to be a summer season of warmth.... Kate Ryan and her  husband, John, have a rollicking pub within the Irish  village of Mountfern... attractive twelve-year-old  twins... and such impressive dreams.... It used to be a summer  of innocence... yet all that's approximately to change  this fateful summer season of 1962 whilst American  millionaire Patrick O'Neill involves city with his  irresistible attraction and a pocketful of money... whilst love  and hate vie for a town's quiet middle and old  traditions start to collapse away.... It was once a summer time of  love that might by no means come again.... A time that  has been captured endlessly in Maeve Binchy's  compelling kinfolk drama... a unique you'll always remember.

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Kate looked without any pleasure at what she had always thought of as a smart green two-piece and which now turned out to be a crumpled, faded rag. ” Michael was behind her, always the more anxious of the two. His eyes seemed troubled. ” Kate softened her tone. “You look very upset, you keep frowning,” Michael said. ” The other two children had come to join in. It wasn’t usual to find a council of war upstairs on a summer evening; Eddie and Declan had come to investigate. ” Eddie asked. Kate looked at him.

His wedding picture showed a different person, a thinner more eager-looking figure, yet the boyish looks hadn’t completely gone. He had a head of sandy brown hair only flecked with grey and big eyebrows that never managed to look ferocious even when he willed them to, like at closing time or when he was trying to deal with some outrage that the children were reported to have committed. Kate had hardly changed at all since their wedding day, he often said, which pleased her, but she said it was just a bit of old soft-soaping to get out of having to stand at the bar.

John was the youngest of the seven Ryan children and the indulged pet of a mother who had been amazed and delighted at his arrival when she had been sure that her family was complete. He had been overfed and given fizzy drinks with sweet cake as long as he could remember. As a lad the running and leaping and cycling miles to a dance had kept him trimmer. Now, between sessions of writing his poetry and serving in his bar, it was a sedentary life. He didn’t know if he wanted it for his sons; he had such hopes for them—that they might see the world a bit, study maybe and go on for the university.

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