What a beautiful gem of a story, a story of love, life and second chances. A story of hope and forgiveness, from life here and beyond.
The summer visitors are Annie Sullivan, who is coming back home to the village of Ballyanna, after four years and a messy break-up and Daniel O’Connell, his twin sons, Pat and Sean, who are here for the summer, directing his documentary on the Trans-Atlantic cable laid in 1866 between Europe and America.
Annie is back home to help out her mother, Breda, in running the hotel, getting her sister Dee and niece Gracie sorted out, after her brother-in-law’s 5 million euro scam and to deal with her father’s alcoholism.
Daniel has his own problems to deal with. He lost his wife Mary, a year ago in an auto accident which involved his sons. So Sean has PTSD and doesn’t talk and Pat does all the talking for him. The village of Ballyanna, with a backdrop of the ocean and cliffs,weaves its magic, on all the characters in this book. It is a place of healing and a place of resting. A place where anything can happen….
And love happens….
But this is not just a love story. It’s so much more. It’s about the things we cannot see, but can just feel. It’s about family and its core strength. It’s about a mother’s love for her children and never letting go. It’s about giving up her own life for her child. It’s about parents wanting to see their children happy. It’s about mystics of life and beliefs in spirituality. It’s about opening the heart to the possibilities of life…
This is my first book by Fiona O’Brien, written oh, so beautifully. There is a sublime beauty and wonder in her words. She deals with alcoholism and mental illness with the same sensitivity as she deals with love and family. Humans are flawed but it’s these flaws which make us interesting and lovable. All the characters in her book are etched out carefully, be it be, Jerry with her clairvoyance, Barry with his gift, Declan with his charm, Luke Nolan with his scepticism, Connor with his selfishness. Their flaws and insecurities make them more real and this is what makes the book complete…
There is a quote in the book I especially liked,
Everything you do, everything you put out there, however big or small, ripples out to affect other people, for better or for worse
In this life filled with stress and sadness, there are these few books which bring joy to the heart, tears to the eyes and hope to the dreams, for a better future…
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Hachette Books Ireland and this is my honest and unbiased opinion
My rating : 5 stars
About the Author
Fiona O’Brien left an award winning career in advertising to write her first novel in 2002. She went on to publish bestselling novels including None of My Affair, No Reservations, Without Him and The Love Book. She lives in Sandymount, Dublin.
Summer has arrived in Ballyanna, and so too has a mysterious visitor …
American documentary maker Daniel O’Connell is renting the beautiful Cable Lodge for the summer. He’s hoping that three months researching an old cable station in a remote village on the south-west coast of Ireland will help him and his traumatised son finally move on from the accident that killed his wife.Meanwhile local hotel owner’s daughter Annie Sullivan has communication problems of her own to deal with. Home on sabbatical from her life in London, she’s keeping a secret from her dysfunctional family and trying to save them and the hotel from their latest drama.As summer draws to a close in Ballyanna, both Dan and Annie are forced to confront the pasts they’ve been escaping. But will they be able to grasp the future that lies ahead?
The Summer Visitors is a heart-warming story about love, second chances and moving on.
Publication date : 4th May 2017
Publisher : Hachette Books Ireland
Available on Amazon
Love from here and beyond