Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Last Weekend Of The Summer by Peter Murphy (VBT: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Providence Book Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Last Weekend Of The Summer by Peter Murphy!

The Last Weekend Of The Summer by Peter Murphy
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Format: Hardcover - 224 pages
               Kindle - 2723 KB
               Nook - 3 MB
ISBN: 978-1611882575
BNID: 2940162129523
Genre: Literary Fiction / Family Relationships

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour hosted by Providence Book Promotions.

Book Description:

They have been coming to their grandmother Gloria’s lake cottage since they were babies. Now Johnnie and Buddy have families of their own and C.C. has a life full of adult drama and adventure. And this trip – the only stated purpose of which is to bring the family together for the last weekend of the summer – seems full of portent. Gloria has been hinting that there’s more on the agenda than grilling and swimming, and when the three siblings learn that their estranged father will also be in attendance, it becomes clear that this weekend will have implications that last far beyond the final days of the season.

A touching, incisive view into the dynamics of a family on the verge of change and filled with characters both distinctive and utterly relatable, THE LAST WEEKEND OF THE SUMMER is a rich, lyrical reading experience that will resonate in your heart.

Book Excerpt:

As the truck slithered to a halt on the gravel road, Susie and Joey took off. It was one of their cottage rituals, running to Gloria who stood waving from the veranda. For the last few years, Joey had let Susie win but had always made it look like he was running as fast as he could. Johnnie and Carol sat back and watched. They always gave the kids a few moments with Gloria before they joined them.
“So, what’s really going on?” Carol asked without looking over at him.
“What do you mean?”
“There’s a little dark cloud hovering over your head.”
“Damn. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice it.”
“Come on, out with it.”
“Dad’s coming too. He’s coming sometime Saturday morning.”
“Does your mother know?”
“I don’t think so. Gloria wanted to break the news to everyone at the same time.”
“Oh dear, so Buddy doesn’t know yet?”
“No, and there’s more.”
There always was with his family, but Carol didn’t say that. Instead, she just sat for a moment taking it all in. And when he was finished, she squeezed his hand and leaned across to kiss his cheek. “I’m so sorry to hear that. Are you going to be okay?”
“Don’t worry about me; I’ll be fine. And we’re all going to have a great time, no matter what.” He smiled and winked at her. “Ready?”
“Showtime,” she smiled back, and she got out and walked towards the veranda. She knew what he was doing; he was getting himself ready for another weekend of enabling his sisters and his mother. She wished he wouldn’t, but there was no point in saying that. Instead, she’d be as loving and supportive as he needed her to be. It was how they dealt with life—along with having a laugh at themselves. “And stop checking out my ass,” she called over her shoulder as she went.
“Better yours than someone else’s,” Gloria laughed as she slowly descended the stairs from the veranda and kissed Carol’s cheek. She still had the most remarkable hearing. “That was something my Harry always used to say.”
“Really, Gloria, I wouldn’t have thought stuff like that would have been a problem for you guys.”
“He was blind, Carol, but he was still a man.”
Carol pretended to look shocked, but Gloria carried on as if she didn’t notice. “But you have nothing to worry about. Johnnie’s still madly in love with you, isn’t he, dear?” Gloria had a twinkle in her eye.
“Of course he is. And I’m still crazy about him—just don’t tell him.”
“I hope so, dear, because I put you two in the east room. I know it’s your favorite.”
“Thanks,” Carol took the old, brittle woman into her arms. “And are you okay, Gloria?”
“Of course I am. Why would you ask such a thing?” But she stayed in Carol’s arms for a little while longer.
“What are you two plotting?” Johnnie asked as he struggled up with their bags. “And don’t worry about me—I’ll just lug everybody’s stuff by myself.”
“And, well, you should,” Gloria reached up and kissed him, and hugged him as tight as her frail old arms would allow. “Your poor wife and children are here for a rest, so don’t be selfish and go around spoiling everything.
“So,” Gloria asked after Carol had gone to settle the kids into the new rooms over the boathouse. “Have you talked with your father?” She waited at the bottom step for Johnnie to take her by the elbow. She could have made it on her own, but she knew he liked to behave like a gentleman.
“Yes, and I hope he knows what he’s doing. It might be asking a bit too much.”
“Not of you, dear, surely?”
“No, I’m okay with it all, and I really want this to work out—for everyone. I was a bit torn up when I first heard, but it’s settled in now and, well, you know . . .”
“Yes, Johnnie, I do.” She smiled up at him and reached up to stroke his cheek. It always reminded her of Harry’s—at least his good side. “Being family means having to go through things like this, and we will all get to play our parts. Hopefully C.C.’s new love interest will provide enough distraction for your mother.”
She paused when they got to the top step and looked up at him for a moment as if she was about to say something else but changed her mind.
“What is it, Gloria? What other secrets are you keeping from me?”
“Far too many for what little time we have left. Now let’s go inside. I have some nice cold beer in the fridge. You might need some fortification before your mother gets here.”
Excerpt from The Last Weekend Of The Summer by Peter Murphy. Copyright © 2018 by The Story Plant. Reproduced with permission from The Story Plant. All rights reserved.

My Book Review:

Every once in a while an author comes along who writes novels that are so powerfully compelling, poignant, and thought-provoking, that the reader will be able to relate to it on some level. In The Last Weekend Of The Summer, author Peter Murphy weaves a wonderful story about the complicated dynamics of family relationships that will simply pull at your emotional heartstrings.

The Last Weekend Of The Summer is a richly descriptive literary tale that explores the dysfunctional family relationship of matriarch Gloria and her clan. Gloria requests that her whole family come together for the last weekend of the summer at the family lakeside cabin to resolve old issues, come to terms with the past, seek closure, make amends, gain redemption and reconciliation, and reestablish the familial bonds in order to keep the family together.

The family weekend is filled with drama, humor, sibling rivalry, animosity, unresolved dysfunctional family issues, secrets, regrets, resentments, and an emotional chance to renew the bonds of family. The author does a wonderful job of intertwining the family's dysfunctional past with the difficulties that they face in their present lives. You can't help but get swept away, relate, and experience the full gamut of emotions as Gloria and her family face a crossroad in their lives as they hash out their unresolved dysfunctional family dynamic while considering the intense and difficult choices of how to deal with their current life issues.

The Last Weekend Of The Summer is a powerful and compelling story written from the heart. It is a must read that will make you ponder your own family dynamic, stir your soul, and resonate with you for a very long time.


About The Author

Peter Murphy was born in Killarney where he spent his first three years before his family had to move to Dublin. Growing up in the verdant braes of Templeogue, Peter was schooled by the De La Salle brothers in Churchtown where he played rugby for “The Wine and Gold.” He also played football (soccer) in secret! After that, he graduated and studied the Humanities in Grogan’s under the guidance of Scot’s corner and the bar staff, Paddy, Tommy, and Sean. Murphy financed his education by working summers on the buildings sites of London. He also tramped the roads of Europe playing music and living without a care in the world.

But his move to Canada changed all of that. He only came over for a while and ended up living there for more than thirty years. He took a day job and played music in the bars at night until the demands of family life intervened. Having raised his children and packed them off to university, Murphy answered the long-ignored internal voice and began to write. He has published five novels so far and has begun work on a new one. Nowadays, he lives in beautiful Lisbon with his wife Eduarda and their well-read dog, Baxter.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for The Story Plant and Peter Murphy.

There will be 5 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Lagan Love by Peter Murphy.

The giveaway begins on September 1 through November 1, 2018.

Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

09/01 Review @ Tome Tender

09/02 Showcase @ Tfaulcbookreviews

09/03 Showcase @ What Is That Book About

09/04 Interview @ Writers and Authors

09/04 Review @ CMash Reads

09/05 Review @ Comfy Chair Books

09/05 Showcase @ The Reading Frenzy

09/06 Interview @ CMash Reads

09/08 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

09/09 Showcase @ Bound 2 Escape

09/10 Interview @ Mythical Books

09/10 Review @ Wall-to-wall books

09/12 Review @ Syllables of Swathi

09/13 Guest Post @ Loris Reading Corner

09/14 Showcase @ Stacking My Book Shelves!

09/17 Review @ Lauras Interests

09/18 Showcase @ The Bookworm Lodge

09/19 Review @ Bring on lemons

09/21 Review @ Books Direct

09/24 Guest Post @ BooksChatter

10/01 Guest Post @ The Book Divas Reads

10/02 Review @ Sunny island breezes

10/08 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

10/12 Review @ Celticladys Reviews

10/15 Review @ Lynchburg Mama

10/18 Review/Showcase @ Romance Under Fire

10/20 Review @ Simply Kelina

10/22 Review @ Stormy Nights Reviewing & Blogging Name

10/29 Guest Post @ Nesies Place

10/30 Review @ Nesies Place


  1. Thank you kindly, "Jersey Girl," for your review, and for showcasing my book.

    Warmest regards.

  2. I agree. This was a powerful read!