Monday, 18 March 2013

Irish Fiction Month Review: Roisin Meaney - One Summer

On Roone, an island off the west coast of Ireland, stands a stone cottage by the edge of the sea. The locals are convinced that it brings luck to those who live there and Nell, its current owner, is certain there's something to it. After all, it drew her back to the island from Dublin and it brought her Tim, her fiancé, whom she's set to marry in a few short months.

So when Nell decides to rent out the cottage during the summer to raise money for her wedding, deep down she hopes that it will work its magic and attract the right tenants to her home.

But as the summer unfolds and Nell's carefully-laid plans for her wedding start to go awry, she begins to question her decision to let out her beloved cottage.

As the arrival of each of the tenants brings about unexpected change to the lives of the islanders, Nell is forced to face some home truths about herself and answer one increasingly burning question . . .

One thing's for sure, it's a summer on the island that nobody will ever forget.

I bought One Summer when it came out last year but due to the volumes of books I'd bought or received to review it's sat in one of the boxes of books in my flat unread.  So when I decided to do an Irish Fiction feature month I decided to dig it out now to read as one of the books to review.

Nell Mulcahy is getting married and wants to be able to contribute towards the cost of her wedding to boyfriend Tim.  So she comes up with a plan to rent out her cottage on the island of Roone for 6 weeks to make some money, during this time she'll move into the room by her salon in her uncle's pub.  Tim is not altogether happy with this plan but as he's only on Roone at weekends, due to working in Dublin during the week, he accepts that he'll have to put up with the inconvenience.

Each of the tenants who rent out Nell's cottage have their own reasons for wanting to come to the Island to get away from their everyday lives, and they soon find that Roone seems to be just the right place for them to consider their options.  Will they find the answers that they are looking for? 

The story flowed easily throughout the year that it covered and despite there being quite a lot of characters involved, it's not that complicated to follow who's who especially as a lot of them were family or neighbours.  One of my favourite characters was Walter, Nell's next door neighbour, who seemed to be the lynchpin of the Island and seemed to have time for everyone especially all of Nell's tenants during their stay. 

This was a real feel-good read, although there were a few moments of sadness in there too, but the overriding feeling I had when I read this was that I wished I could live in a community like that.  I cannot wait to see what's next for Nell and the rest of the Islanders as I know that Roisin Meaney is currently working on a sequel... 

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