ARC Review: Firefly Summer by Nan Rossiter


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Firefly Summer
Author: Nan Rossiter
Genre: Adult Fiction
Release date: July 26th, 2016

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The close-knit Quinn siblings enjoyed the kind of idyllic childhood that seems made for greeting cards, spending each summer at Whit’s End, the family’s home on Cape Cod. Then comes the summer of 1964, warm and lush after a rainy spring–perfect firefly weather. Sisters Birdie, Remy, Sailor, Piper, and their brother, Easton, delight in catching the insects in mason jars to make blinking lanterns. Until, one terrible night, eight-year-old Easton drowns in the rising tide.

Decades later, the sisters have carved out separate lives on the Cape. Through love and heartbreak, health issues, raising children, and caring for their aging parents, they have supported each other, rarely mentioning their deep childhood loss. But one evening, as they sit together at Whit’s End to watch the sun set, the gathering fireflies elicit memories of that long-ago night, and a tumult of regrets, guilt, and secrets tumble out.

I was expecting a family tale that started with a night of confessions, but what I got was the day-to-day life of the sisters and their menial tasks. The writing, though easy to read, made the sisters undistinguishable and the lack of plot ended up boring me. Sadly, it was not the moving family tale I was expecting because I never truly connected with the characters, but I did appreciate the portrayal of aging and how a tragedy can affect each member of a family differently.

I was really bored reading the lives of these sisters with such detail. I didn’t want to know how they did the dishes or everything they said to their pets! I was always expecting something to set the plot off, but this isn’t that type of book. Whenenver something does happen to move the story along, it didn’t feel realistic and I honestly didn’t care enough about the characters to be moved about it.

I wish the sisters were set apart more pronouncedly because they all blurred together for me. They all spoke exactly the same way and I would forget who I was reading about in the middle on a chapter. None of them swears, instead, they say things like ‘Sugar!’ or ‘Craparooni!’ which made me cringe. Birdie was the only one who stood out from time to time because she was harsher than the other sisters, but she still didn’t feel real.

Their lives were very similar, even though some weren’t married and had been through different experiences in life, the moment we encounter them they all have some sort of relationship with a man and they all sounded like the exact same guy.

The plot – or lack of one – was about the struggles of the sisters in a daily basis, with issues from the past and the present, but I never felt like they tackled any of them. This was my biggest problem, because things happened that made them change, but that change of heart wasn’t explored thorugh the narrative, which was disappointing. The only aspect I enjoyed was how the sisters were coping with getting older because that did feel realistic.

Overall, though an easy read and a faithful representation of the struggles we can go through as we age, this book failed for me in terms of characters and plot and I couldn’t connect with it.

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Firefly Summer by Nan Rossiter

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