“A gripping and emotional page-turner.”
A lost girl. A mysterious house in Ireland. An invitation that changes everything.
Twenty years ago, at the end of a long hot Irish summer, three sisters submerge themselves in the cool lake at their home, Swan Hall. As the elder two watch their beautiful younger sister Nuala laughing and splashing, droplets of water clinging to her dark hair, they can hardly hide their envy of her. But later that day, when Nuala tragically drowns, they appear devastated…
Now, as Iris scatters the ashes of her beloved mother onto the golden leaves of Central Park, she feels very alone. But then hope comes in an invitation across the sea to Ireland from her aunt – the woman her mother left behind after a terrible tragedy and never spoke to again.
Swan Hall is more than Iris could ever have dreamed, sitting on the edge of a lake, full of history. But its dark corridors and staircases are caked in dust, and Iris’s unease deepens when she finds a diary belonging to her aunt Nuala, who she has never heard of.
Why did Iris’s mother never mention Nuala? As Iris reads Nuala’s slanting script, she uncovers dark secrets and shocking betrayals from a long hot summer long ago, and begins to wonder: was Nuala’s death really an accident? Can Iris find the truth, and will it change everything she knows about her mother… and herself?
Ireland is a verdant landscape with lovely lakes and ocean scenes. Three daughters are being raised at Swan Hall, a lovely three-story home built on nearly 200 acres of farm/ranch land with its own lake. One would think it is a wonderful place to raise three daughters but there was trouble.
These three daughters were the target of a handsome Irishman who wanted to bed them all. One of the daughters, Aisling, becomes pregnant and is able to escape to New York to raise her daughter Iris. Iris never knew her father is not aware that she has any aunts or uncles.
Conrad, a tall and good-looking man sought after by many of the young women in the area, has a bit of a problem with the drink. Also, he is working with the I.R.A. to rid Ireland of English rule. When he is not drinking, he is pursuing the three young ladies. He professes true love for each of them, depending on which one he is able to get alone. Jealousy between the sisters splits the family unit.
Iris is invited to come to Ireland for the Christmas season after her mother is tragically killed in New York and is met at the airport by her “Uncle Conrad” whom she had never heard of! He drives her back to Swan Hall. She brings with her some of her mother’s ashes to spread in the country of her birth.
Iris is apparently the spitting image of one of the sisters. The mystery of Nuala’s disappearance and presumed drowning in the family lake called Lough Bawn is a big mystery and spawns questions that Iris will confront.
The author has developed a very interesting and tragic novel of life among the Irish. The fine beers and spirits of Ireland contribute to the ensuing calamity. 4.5 stars – CE Williams
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Women’s Friendship Fiction, Women’s Literary Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Print Length: 334 pages
Publication Date: October 3, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Last Summer in Ireland [Amazon]
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Welcome to my Author’s Page!
I’m an Irish author who’s been writing novels and plays for nearly thirty years. My first novel, Beatrice was published in August 2004 which was a bestseller in Ireland. This was followed by A Small Part Of me in 2005, I Remember in 2008, The Adulteress in 2010, The Secret Loves of Julia in 2012, The Gravity of Love in 2018, and The Island Girls in 2020.
My books have been published in over 12 different countries.
I am also published under the pen name Evie Blake and my Valentina Trilogy hit the Der Spiegel Bestseller List in 2013.
In 2014 I was one of 56 Irish Writers included in the anthology and exhibition Lines of Vision Irish Writers on Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, and published by Thames & Hudson.
I have also written five plays – Northern Landscapes, Black Virgin, Runaway Wife, The Good Sister, and Witches’ Gets, which featured in Cymera and Audacious Women Festivals in Edinburgh to sell out houses.
I currently live in Edinburgh in Scotland, and I am one of the founders of Aurora Writers’ Retreats, and part of the wellness hub The Space To BE.
If you like stories written from the heart, historical with contemporary timeslip, family mysteries and secrets, and always, always a love story set against evocative landscapes, you might like to pick up one of my books. My aim is to tell women’s stories from the past and present and to give voice to those who are rarely heard. Want to know more about me and my writing, go to http://www.noelleharrison.com
©2022 CE Williams – V Williams