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Love and Summer by William Trevor
Love and Summer is set in a small Irish town in the 1950s. Florian Kilderry visits the town to take pictures of some ruins and stumbles across a funeral. His presence there intrigues Ellie Dillahan. Ellie is an orphan, raised by nuns and sent as a maid to the Dillahan farm after an accident killed Dillahan's wife and child. She married Dillahan, partly out of convenience and sympathy, and the two have had a childless and tranquil marriage. Florian's arrival stirs longings Ellie's never had before, but she also is acutely aware of the tenderness and care her husband provides. In a small Irish town, though, there are few secrets. William Trevor's novel has received glowing reviews and a Booker nomination. The London Times says, "When reviewing a novel it is normal to scrawl notes in the margins and untidy underlinings through the text, with a view to remembering what to write about later. Rarely do you read right through, pencil suspended, and reach the end, totally entranced by unblemished pages. Love and Summer is that kind of rare book."