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The Ludlow Ladies Society Paperback – 4 Jul 2017
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About the Author
A leading journalist in Ireland for nearly thirty years, Ann O'Loughlin has covered all major news events of the last three decades. Ann spent most of her career with independent newspapers where she was Security Correspondent at the height of The Troubles, and was a senior journalist on the Irish Independent and Evening Herald. She is currently a senior journalist with the Irish Examiner newspaper covering legal issues. Ann has also lived and worked in India. Originally from the west of Ireland she now lives on the east coast in Co. Wicklow with her husband and two children. Her debut novel The Ballroom Cafe was a bestseller, with over 250,000 copies sold in eBook. Her second novel The Judge's Wife was an Irish bestseller for 5 weeks. The Judge's Wife was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel Award in February 2017.
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I felt I was being taken on an extraordinary journey through the lives to three different women and I found myself rooting for all three as they strived to overcome the pain they had endured in their lives.
Connie Carter turns up at the gates of an old mansion on the outskirts of an Irish village. A young American dance teacher, she is still reeling from an extremely traumatic family event in the US. All she has left in the world is this big old house which she never even knew existed until a short time ago.
The former owner is a woman named Eve who has lost everything. Eve now lives in a small house in the village where she ekes out a living as a dressmaker.
A third woman, Hetty, is a widow whom has suffered in secret for too long.
All three women will undertake a shared project, along with other women, in a group named the Ludlow Ladies's Society.
While it may appear that the tough experiences of these women might make for grim reading, the talent of the author ensures the reader is intrigued, entertained, and treated to a lively story that had me laughing out loud on several occasions. She has a finely tuned ear for a humorous phrase.
As a fan of O'Loughlin's previous novels, I was delighted to discover she had lost none of her zest for telling a well-rounded story. There were twists and revelations that caused sharp intakes of breath.
And I loved some welcome similarities in all three books concerning O'Loughlin's eye for beauty in the intricate yet commonplace detail in our everyday lives. In The Ballroom Cafe, she evoked the glistening beauty of a woman's brooch collection. In The Judge's Wife, the artistic lines of high fashion garments of the 1950s. In The Ludlow Ladies' Society, there is the exquisite detail of the creation of memory quilts which exults in the colours and textures of the fabrics in the lives of these women.
As a male reader, I did not feel excluded from the circle of these women in a corner of rural Ireland. There were several male characters, some of whom were emburdened with a surplus of failings. I was glad that other men, however, did not leave the side down.
This is a book for all who believe in the solidarity of friendship, the overcoming of painful pasts, and the joy of new beginnings.
I thoroughly recommend this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
This was an amazing read, struggled to put it down to go to sleep and go to work. Very well thought out and amazing characters.Read more