Songs of Love and War Paperback – 5 May 2016
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'Santa Montefiore at her best - an enchanting read overflowing with deliciously poignant moments' (Dinah Jefferies, author of The Tea Planter's Wife)
‘A multigenerational banquet of love: falling in, falling out, rediscovering,rekindling. The Beekeeper’s Daughter features sophisticated, irresistible backdrops and brilliantly drawn characters that made it one of the most engrossing reads of my year’ (Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Matchmaker, on The Beekeeper's Daughter)
‘An international bestseller. And with good reason. The sweeping tale, which dates back to 1910, follows three friends growing up in the hills of Co. Cork, Ireland . . . As the story unfolds and rebellion breaks out across the country, the friends’ three lives intertwine in ways both tender and tragic. Impossible to put down.’ (Toronto Star)
From the Inside Flap
Their lives were mapped out ahead of them. But love and war will change everything... Castle Deverill, nestled in the rolling Irish hills, is home to three very different women: flame-haired Kitty Deverill, her best friend and daughter of the castle's cook, Bridie Doyle, and her flamboyant English cousin, Celia Deverill.
When war breaks out, the lives of all three are changed forever.
Wrenched apart by betrayal, their world turned to ash, the girls' friendship seems all but lost as they are swept to different parts of the globe. Yet, they have one thing in common: a fierce and unwavering longing for Castle Deverill and all the memories contained within it.
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The story of the castle, its curse...yes a curse, and its ghosts with their hidden secrets is wonderfully atmospheric. It’s told by three different women - two from the upper classes, the Deverill’s themselves and one, a maid at the castle.
There’s so much to this novel. The rich detail and sumptuous setting catch your eye on every page, but it’s the way that the story of Ireland, its history, its people and its political divides as well as class divides are woven together that really captured my attention.
I’m now calling Santa the Rumpelstiltskin of the literature world for her weaving abilities. At the end you do indeed have a historical tale which shines.
The map on the booktrail.com shows the amazing landscape in Ireland where this book is set
The characters were an interesting mix of English and Irish during the time when English weren't really welcome in Ireland and it was a fairly dangerous place to be. We also has a mix of the right families and their servants. These characters went through so much drama and created so much drama, I can't really single any one character out as a favourite. I really liked the journey that maid Bridie went on. I won't give away any spoilers but I'm sure you'll be championing her from the start!
Of course the setting description in this one was beautiful. The description of the Irish landscape is just breathtaking. Some of the book is set in New York and I could totally picture the scenes as Monterfiore was describing them. There are also so bits set in England and I think that this author really captures the mood at the time in her descriptions. As I say, this book was quite different for me. I enjoyed it overall. I have it in paperback but actually listened to it in audiobook. I'd really quite like the chance to go back to beginning of the book and read the first couple of chapters because the epilogue takes the book full circle, if you read it I would really recommend flicking back to the beginning after you're done!
The story follows Kitty Deverill, Anglo-Irish daughter of the Castle, Bridie Doyle, Irish daughter of the Castle's cook and Celia Deverill, Kitty's English cousin as they grow up together. Celia joins the girls every year when her family come over from England to spend the summer at the Castle. Bridie's home life is devoid of any of the privileges enjoyed by Kitty, but this doesn't stop them becoming best friends. When the Irish rebel against the English as they battle for independence, the safety of the Deverill family is threatened and amid love, secrets and lies the girls are parted, their lives changed forever.
The characters within the book are all bursting with personality. Kitty is fiery, determined and fiercely proud of her Irish heritage with Bridie equally strong-willed. Kitty is shown little affection by Maud, her mother, but she shares a special relationship with her grandmother, Adeline, who drinks a special blend of tea that I found particularly amusing. The addition of "The Shrubs", (you have to read the book to understand), was just the cherry on the cake for me. They are adorable.
Nail-biting tension, love, loss, betrayal and heartache all make this a real page-turner. I fell in love with these characters and although I was sad to come to the end of the book, I was thrilled to learn that this is part one of a trilogy and Daughters of Castle Deverill is released in July 2016.
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Best to read this one first !