So after reading four Game of Thrones books in a row, I craved something kind. Something gentle. Something that would let me float along the story instead making me flinch. Maeve Binchy is one of my go-to authors when I’m in that mood, so I re-read Firefly Summer over the weekend. One of the things I really appreciate about Binchy is how so many of her characters are basically just regular people trying to live good lives and get along with each other. Even the petty or harsh people have their kind or reasonable sides. Binchy portrays so many little and important details of people’s lives, and her characters develop over the timeline of the story, often able to look back at past opinions or actions or foibles with changed minds and hearts.
In this book, a self-made Irish-American returns to Ireland to find his roots and ends up being the cause of great changes in the small town from which his relatives were evicted years before.
Binchy’s books fall into my category of “beach books”—books that are undemanding but entertaining, with enough going on to hold my interest, but not so much that I have to pause and think. I have re-read most of her books multiple times, like listening to old favourite songs. I usually like my books a bit more political than this, but I do keep coming back to them.
Paperback, ISBN 0-09-948541-9. Arrow Books.