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Friday, August 18, 2017

The Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore

The Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore
Published by William Morrow ISBN 9780062456885
Trade paperback, $15.99, 576 pages

Some books catch you immediately, while others take a little more time. Santa Montefiore's The Daughters of Ireland falls into the second category. The hefty novel is a sequel to The Girl In The Castle, which I have not yet read, and if you have read that one, you will be ahead of the game. (I will be reading it soon.)

There are a lot of characters in The Daughters of Ireland, and Montefiore helpfully has two family trees at the beginning of the book to help orient the reader. There are the London Deverills of Deverill House, and the Ballinakelly Deverills of Castle Deverill in Ireland. I referred to these family trees frequently at the beginning to keep everyone straight.

In 1662, Lord Deverill of Ballinakelly in Co. Cork Ireland was cursed by Maggie O'Leary, a woman accused of being a witch. Maggie cursed Deverill's family for all eternity, and now as the story opens in 1925, we find that there was huge fire that burned down Deverill Castle and cost people their lives.

Bridie Doyle grew up as the daughter of one of the cooks of Deverill Castle and played as a child with Kitty, whose family owned the castle, and Kitty's cousin Celia, from the London Deverill family. The three girls were best friends until circumstances drew them apart.

Bridie disappeared to America, and became Bridie Lockwood, wife (and now widow) of a wealthy man. But she is haunted by the loss of her baby, a young son who is now being raised by Kitty and her husband Robert. Bridie decides to come home to Ireland and plots to steal her son JP away and take him to America.

Kitty adores little JP, as does Robert. But Kitty is still in love with Jack O'Leary, and they plan to take JP and run off to America to start a new life.

Celia has married well, and is determined to buy Deverill Castle and create the most beautiful home anyone has ever seen. She sees this as a chance to bring the families back together.

It took me a long time to really get a foothold of the story and characters here, but when I did, I found myself racing through the pages to find out where the stories were going. Montefiore takes us from Ireland to New York City to Johannesburg, South Africa, and each place is lovingly detailed and each story fascinating.

In addition to the main characters, there are so many interesting secondary characters. I loved the subplot about Grace's playboy father and his courting of 'the Shrubs'- Laurel and Hazel, two elderly sisters who both fall for him.

There is a lot going in The Daughters of Ireland, there is heartbreak and history, and the novel comes to a rather abrupt end, which sets up the continuation of the many subplots for Montefiore's next novel, which I await with great anticipation. Montefiore picks up where Dickens left off, writing epic novels with many intriguing characters. If you like big books, filled with with multiple storylines and terrific characters, The Daughters of Ireland is for you.

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Santa Montefiore's tour. The rest of her stops are here:

Tour Stops

Tuesday, August 15th: Book by Book
Wednesday, August 16th: Reading Reality
Thursday, August 17th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Friday, August 18th: bookchickdi
Monday, August 21st: Art @ Home
Tuesday, August 22nd: Reading is My Super Power
Thursday, August 24th: BookNAround
Monday, August 28th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Tuesday, August 29th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, August 30th: A Literary Vacation
Thursday, August 31st: Always With a Book


  1. My Gram was born in Ireland in 1926. She emigrated to America while one of her sisters emigrated to South Africa. There seem to be threads of similarity to her life in this book, and that definitely intrigues me!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  2. I'm on the fence if I want to read this book or not. I read the first one and thought it was ok. My mom on the other hand loved it. So I may just purchase it as a gift for her, then read it myself eventually. Nice review!