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The Long, Hot Summer
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The Long, Hot Summer

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Nine Lives. Four Generations. One Family. The MacEntees are no ordinary family. Determined to be different to other people, they have carved out a place for themselves in Irish life by the sheer force of their own personalities. But when a horrifying act of violence befalls television star Alma, a chain of events is set in motion that will leave even the MacEntees struggling to make sense of who they are. As media storms rage about them and secrets rise to the surface, Deirdre the flamboyant matriarch is planning a birthday party for herself, and with it one final, shocking surprise.… (mais)
Membro:ashkrishwrites
Título:The Long, Hot Summer
Autores:
Informação:Publisher Unknown, 400 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:to-read

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The Long, Hot Summer de Kathleen MacMahon

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Meet the MacEntees, mother, Deirdre, relatively absent from her children's lives as they were growing, pursuing an award winning career on the stage. Manus, the father, who well leave his wife of many years to live with a younger man. Alma, who has grown into a formidable woman, has a daughter and divorced husband and Auschula, who is married to the other brother who is heavily invested in politics and Macdora, their brother, Mother's favorite and a gentle soul who seems to want little out of life. So not your typical Irish family but as you read this you will find them very easy in which to relate.

Narrated by each family member during the course of one summer, this is an easy story to immerse oneself into. No gimmicks, no changing timelines, just strong writing and an interesting plot. What a refreshing novelty. Over the course of a summer, we watch as these characters change as fate throws unexpected occurrences into their lives. We hear in their own words and the stories of the others how these have effected them, how they react to them. There is humor, sadness, forgiveness, understanding and a great deal of love. Ultimately, this is a story of family, what tears them apart, what brings them together, and love. What one will do out of love, forgive, come to new realizations and maybe even acceptance.

Wonderful story, great characters and just a plain good story with some surprising insights.

ARC from Netgalley. ( )
  Beamis12 | Aug 15, 2016 |
OK, I admit it. I started reading The Long, Hot Summer in the middle of a particularly freezing winter week. I was hoping that some of the warmth would transfer to me, huddled under blankets with only my fingers peeking out. I love family stories and I was interested to see how the MacEntees would handle their numerous upheavals over the course of the summer. The story begins with Deirdre, family matriarch, planning a grand party and her death. Basically, her death is a way of one-upping her estranged husband who left her for a man years ago. Manus has said that she’ll live forever, but she’ll prove him wrong! Deirdre is not keen on getting old, on being a faded star of the stage.

Each of the following chapters is told from the perspective of another one of the MacEntees. Alma is the next to tell her story – she’s a highflying journalist, only to be cut down in a random attack at home. Alma has an epiphany and starts to change – stopping dying her hair and moving from television to radio. There’s then the sensation of the year in Ireland as her ex-husband is caught stealing a pepper grinder. Who does he turn to? Alma, of course. Meanwhile, Alma’s sister Acushla has a deep dark secret she’s ready to tell – at the expense of her husband’s political career in Ireland. Both Alma and Acushla’s daughters have their own problems while Manus is now a carer for his lover. Sadly, tragedy strikes again but will this bring the MacEntees closer?

I liked the way The Long, Hot Summer was set out – the long chapters from different characters reminded me of Maeve Binchy’s books (such as Minding Frankie). However, I felt that there was something lost between the chapters, that they were more separate than joined. At times, it was like some of the previous events hadn’t happened. For example, after Acushla goes public with her secret, it doesn’t really flow into the following narrative. I would have thought a big shock like that, given that she was the talking point of Ireland’s media for days, would reverberate more. Perhaps it didn’t do so through the MacEntees to show how disparate they were to each other. Also, some things weren’t spelled out enough for me – what exactly was wrong with Sam? Why has Macdara sequestered himself since his breakdown, and what happened exactly? Given that other events were told in detail, I would have liked to have known more about these too.

Kathleen MacMahon’s writing is excellent and she certainly knows how to tell a story. I haven’t read This is How it Ends, but I’d be interested in doing so, given the stellar reviews for it. I just felt that this story didn’t flow as well as it could have – it seems to start and stop, rather like Manus’s beloved blue Jaguar. Not all the characters were likeable (Deirdre is an enigma that only starts being understandable as the story finishes) which is okay. But the ones I did like, such as Connie and Macdara, didn’t get enough page time to satisfy me. Perhaps fewer characters in greater depth would have made me happier or more reasoning as to why they acted how they did.

The Long, Hot Summer is a good book, but I had the feeling that something was missing to make it a great one.

Thank you to Hachette Australia for the book. My review is honest.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Jun 27, 2015 |
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Nine Lives. Four Generations. One Family. The MacEntees are no ordinary family. Determined to be different to other people, they have carved out a place for themselves in Irish life by the sheer force of their own personalities. But when a horrifying act of violence befalls television star Alma, a chain of events is set in motion that will leave even the MacEntees struggling to make sense of who they are. As media storms rage about them and secrets rise to the surface, Deirdre the flamboyant matriarch is planning a birthday party for herself, and with it one final, shocking surprise.

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