Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Girls of Ennismore (by Patricia Falvey)

Thank you for visiting today!  I hope you are having a lovely Thursday.  I am sharing Patricia Falvey's latest novel with you today (isn't the cover just gorgeous).   Her other novels are The Yellow House and The Linen Queen.  You can follow Ms. Falvey on Amazon and they will send you notifications when she publishes a new book. 

The Girls of Ennismore by Patricia Falvey is set in Ireland in June of 1900.  Rosie Killeen is eight years old and is earning a little extra money by helping at the Ennis estate or as the locals call it the “big house”.  Queen Victoria will be stopping at the house and extra help is needed in the kitchen.  On the way home, Rosie encounters Victoria Bell (7 years old) who needs some assistance.  Victoria is the daughter of Lord and Lady Ennis.  After helping Victoria, Rosie heads home.  Rosie is unaware of it, but this accidental meeting will forever change her life.  Victoria is greatly impressed by Rosie and asks her Father to let her take lessons with her.  Victoria is lonely and would love to have a friend.  Against Lady Althea Ennis’ protests, Lord Edward Ennis agrees to the arrangement.  This is a great opportunity for Rosie, but one she does not want.   Rosie soon joins Victoria at the big house for lessons with Lady Louisa, the girl’s’ tutor.  Lady Louisa resents being forced to teach Rosie and sets out to make it miserable for her.  Over the years, the girls grow closer.  But when Victoria heads off for her first season in Dublin, these two young women are head off on separate paths.  Rosie, though, is in an unusual position.  She is not gentry, but she has the education.  She is not a servant, but her family is poor.  Rosie is caught between these two very different worlds and does not know where she belongs.  It is especially difficult that she is attracted to Valentine Bell, Victoria’s brother.  Rosie is not considered a suitable mate for Valentine.  Rosie must find a way to earn money for her family and find her place in the world during these tumultuous times in Ireland.  The Home Rule (who are fighting for Irish independence) is gaining popularity in Ireland and the first World War is starting to break out in Europe.  To find out what happens to Rosie and Victoria, you need to read The Girls of Ennismore.

The Girls of Ennismore is nicely written, had a good pace, and was easy to read.  I found the book to be engaging.  My interest was captured and held throughout the story.  The author did a great job at bringing this period of time to life for me.  I appreciated the setting of Ireland.  So many novels have been set in England, so this was a nice change of pace. The Girls of Ennismore reminds me of Upstairs Downstairs (the show), A Woman of Substance (the book by Barbara Taylor Bradford) and Downton Abbey (you will think of Branson when reading this book).  I give The Girls of Ennismore 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  There were a couple of slow sections, but they were minimal.  Rosie attitude was challenging as she got older (in other words, she annoyed me), but it was understandable (most of the time).  I was happy to see her character develop emotionally as she got older.  The ending is so sweet.  I am definitely checking out Patricia Falvey’s other novels.

I am off to run an errand and then do some work around the house.  I will return tomorrow with another one of my books reviews.  I am currently reading The Decorator Who Knew Too Much by Diane Vallere.  May the rest of your day be as special as you!  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

British cover for The Girls of Ennismore!

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