Summer at the Lake (O'Malley Family Series)

Summer at the Lake (O'Malley Family Series)

3.0 1
by Andrew M. Greeley, Dale Hull, Bill Weideman, Erika Leigh

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For childhood friends Leo Kelly, Jane Devlin, and newly ordained "Packy" Keenan, the summers they spent at the lake together were times of pure magic. And no summer was more enchanting than the summer of 1948 - until a tragic car wreck killed two of their friends. The rich and prominent "Old House" families of Chicago banded together to protect their own - the driver,… See more details below


For childhood friends Leo Kelly, Jane Devlin, and newly ordained "Packy" Keenan, the summers they spent at the lake together were times of pure magic. And no summer was more enchanting than the summer of 1948 - until a tragic car wreck killed two of their friends. The rich and prominent "Old House" families of Chicago banded together to protect their own - the driver, who was drunk, was the son of a local doctor. The car had belonged to Leo, whose family was middle class, so the police quickly arrested him and tried to force a confession. To make matters more complicated, half a million dollars in counterfeit bills had been found in the trunk. There was a cover-up and a vicious scandal. Leo left for the Korean War, and the three friends' summers at the lake were gone forever... Until thirty years later - when Leo, still obsessed by the memory of Jane and the need to solve the mystery of what really happened that fateful summer, comes back to Chicago and back to the lake. Jane is more beautiful than ever, but her life has been an unhappy one, trapped in a loveless marriage and haunted by the memory of Leo. She has returned to the lake to try to piece her life back together. Disillusioned with the priesthood, Packy realizes he's in love with Jane, too. But as a best friend and confidant to Leo and Jane, he faces a difficult choice this summer: should he help his oldest friend win back the woman of his dreams or pursue what might be his own last chance for love?

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Who said anything about Danielle Steel? Father Greeley (Irish Lace, 1996, etc.) seems to have discovered Proust, if this elliptical—and endless—reminiscence of ancient pleasures and regrets is to be taken as a sign.

Patrick Keenan, recently made a monsignor, grew up among the "country club" Irish of suburban Chicago and entered a seminary in the 1940s. There, his best friend was Leo Kelly, quieter and less self-assured than Patrick, and a sharer of Patrick's infatuation with Jane Devlin, a fiery redhead from the wrong side of the tracks. The Devlins had made a shady fortune and couldn't quite fit in with the "Old Houses" set at the lake resort where the Keenans hung out, but Jane's stunning good looks and—this being Greeley, after all—magnificent jugs help persuade even the most ardent snobs to overlook her shanty origins. Leo is still smitten with Jane when he drops out of the seminary, but whatever hopes he holds out vanish when two friends are killed in an automobile accident and Leo is falsely accused of driving the car. Although everything blows over, Leo feels the need to get away, so he joins the Marines and is sent to Korea, where he's captured and mistakenly reported killed in action. Jane, heartbroken, marries a drunken lout; Leo, depressed, survives prison, starts a new life as a political scientist, and marries a neurotic graduate student. Thirty unhappy years later, Leo, appointed provost of the University of Chicago, returns to the lake to sort out his life. Monsignor Keenan is able to prod him along the way, of course, to the happy ending we'd had all figured out by page eight.

Too long and rambling to be a page-turner, although it has the usual Greeley graces (simple characters, even simpler ideas) in a plot that's not nearly as complex as it wants to be. For true believers only.

The Chattanooga Times
The trio come together again at the lake in 1978, and all the unanswered questions about the accident and their feelings for each other come to the surface. It's a riveting story of love, crime, and scandal laced with the Roman Catholic orientation that is Greeley's forte.

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Product Details

Media Books, L. L. C.
Publication date:
O'Malley Family Series
Edition description:
2 Cassettes
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.09(h) x 0.67(d)

Read an Excerpt

Summer at the Lake

By Greeley, Andrew M.

Forge Books

Copyright © 1998 Greeley, Andrew M.
All right reserved.

For a few seconds I was terrified.
She had caught up to me under the streetlight. Materializing suddenly in its faint, leaf and branch obscured luminescence like a spirit floating in the summer darkness, a spirit from a past summer that I had conjured out of bittersweet memories, a phantom of lost opportunities come to haunt me and punish me for my sins.
I was spooked only for a moment. Jane was never ethereal enough to be one of the fairie troop.
She kissed me lightly on the cheek, a quick gesture of remote friendship and nothing more. Yet the kiss ignited an inferno of hope-the ever-lurking professor in my brain warned me, the most dangerous of emotions.
Jane was not plain Jane; she was astonishing Jane and dangerous Jane. She was almost the effervescent young woman I had known three decades ago, unchanged in personality from the bubbling little toddler who had bounced down the street in our neighborhood and unchanged in physical appearance from the girl I had held in my arms under the same streetlight in 1948. She wore a cotton print dress with a low-cut, square neck that could have been the same one that she had worn thirty years before. Her body seemed to have the same lithe athletic shape, primed for a tennis match. The pale light or perhaps deft makeup obscured the lines that time must have etched on her round, faintly freckled face. I saw in the dim glow of the streetlight thather brown eyes sparkled with mischief as they always had. Her curly brown hair was still a halo around her head. Her smile was as bright as ever and her laughter as contagious as ever. Jane, touched by time and the tragedy of painful marriage and loss of children, but triumphant over tragedy.
We had met in the lilac-scented dark, by accident we would have said, at a place of love and death and the death of love. Perhaps of murder and the murder of love. But lilacs, I had always though, were flowers of hope and promise.
"It seems so long ago," her sigh hung like a wisp of fog on the humid night air. "air. "Thirty years."
Thirty years ago sighing was not part of her character.
"Or only yesterday," I replied.
Then, stuffy professor that I was, I added ponderously, "The past is always incarnated in the present."
"I'm sure you're right,"
"I used to like it, Jane, when you said I was talking intellectual nonsense."
She sighed again, a hint of weary wisdom, "I've changed my mind about intellectuals, Leo. Sometimes," and her magic laughter returned, "only sometimes, mind you, they know what they're talking about."
I felt the first stirrings of rage in my gut. I fought to keep it down.
My friends had told me that she was the "same old Jane," yet I was not ready for her to enchant me just as she had when I was twenty.
"How much more money do you make now because you are a member of the National Academy of Sciences?" she had touched me lightly on the arm. "What's it worth in hard cash?"
She was grinning wickedly, mocking me, mocking herself, mocking the values of her family, and at the same time congratulating me.
It was election to the Academy that had ended my marriage My wife and our therapist had bitterly attached me for not rejecting the honor because of what it did to Emilie. I knew then that no matter how much I wanted to save the marriage it was finished. So too were the therapy sessions. I had called my fried Packy, as I always did when I was in trouble.
"They're the crazy ones, Leo," he had told me. "Get out while you can."
In fact Emilie had moved out when I refused to attend the therapy sessions any longer. "Your precious National Academy of Sciences," she had snarled. "Is more important than the wife you've exploited all through your marriage.
That was that.
"Maybe you could get a ride on the Chicago subway with it, so long as you had the money for the exact fare," I replied to Jane, trying to organize my response to the surprise of meeting her again at just this-place and control the frenzy that suddenly had begun to flame within me.
There was no reason for me to be angry at her. I told myself. Yet anger was surging up from my gut and threatening to pour out of my mouth.
Had she been waiting for me?
No, that was impossible. She had caught up with me. Besides, she had no way of knowing that I was at the Lake this weekend.
She had hunched her shoulders and giggled as she always had, "I'm sure there's big money in being a university vice president."
"Whatever!" she cackled with glee. "Really big money!"
"Junior partner in a law firm makes more."
She clapped her hands, "Same old Lee. Nothing has changed. Déjà vu all over again."
"I'm staying with Jerry and Maggie Keenan for the Memorial Day weekend," I stammered.
I had learned how to control my explosions of rage, to wall them up inside myself, to give no hint of them though they seemed to tear at me and twist me apart.
"You have grown up OK, Lee," she rested her chin in her hand as if considering me. "Not bad for a fusty old political scientist."
It was a humid, windless night for so early in the season. The Lake was listlessly tapping the shore and the smell of flowering trees permeated the air. My anger ebbed, leaving me emotionally exhausted. I had also learned to hide the
letdown after my rage.
"And you're prettier than you were when you were twenty, Jane."
It was a typically creative compliment from me, a cliché that I had regretted as soon as I had spoken it.
She slapped my arm lightly. "None of your blarney, Professor Kelly...It's the dim light that deceives you."
"It's not that dim and I don't think so."
Then we both became silent, the memories of the dead past throbbing around us.
I almost reached out for her breast just as I had done in 1948. We were both of us flirting with adultery. More or less.
"The same spot," I murmured.
Then she sighed, and somehow in her seriousness both my anger and the possibility of passion renewed evaporated; all that remained was the scent of lilacs and the jasmine and the crab apple trees.
Copyright 1997 by Andrew Greeley Enterprises, Ltd.


Excerpted from Summer at the Lake by Greeley, Andrew M. Copyright © 1998 by Greeley, Andrew M.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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