The Long, Hot Summer: Kathleen MacMahon

This is my first book by Irish writer Kathleen MacMahon. It was one of those books I picked up because of the cover. Sometimes, if I go to the library and I don’t have a specific list of books I want to check out or read, I’ll surf the shelves for something that pops out. It’s how I pick out my wines. So far it’s worked out pretty well.


This book is about four generations of a family and their dynamics and dysfunction over the years. And although each one has their flaws, make mistakes, and have their differences, in the end, family brings them all back together again.

Each chapter focuses on one character and his/her point of view which I liked. I felt like the author did a good job, for the most part with character development. Deirdra and Manus are the first of the four generations. Deirdra is a retired actress that gave up her career for children, but kept her artistic uniqueness throughout her life, while Manus is a character who doesn’t figure himself out until years into their marriage.

The ones that stick out the most Alma and Acushla, two sisters who end up marrying two brothers, Liam and Mick. From the reading, you can tell that Alma and Acushla definitely have different personalities. They are close in age but Alma is the strong type, while Acushla is usually more quiet and reserved. Alma goes through a horrific event and her strength is challenged, while Acushla hides a secret, keeping her strength quiet for years. On the other hand, Liam and Mick are brothers, both working in the political world, and a few times throughout the book, I had to ask myself who was which again. I felt like their characters weren’t as strong.

Overall the book was alright. There wasn’t much of a climax. I was waiting for the height of the book, which was supposed to take place during this long, hot summer, but I couldn’t really figure out when that was. I liked her writing, so I’ll probably seek another of hers to give it another shot. This one just felt….*sigh*….okay. Maybe it’s because I just got done reading Stephen King? We’ll see.

Overall rating: 7/10


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