Little Irish Sweetheart

Book Review – Santa Montefiore

Wandering through Malaga airport, I walked into a bookshop to purchase my usual magazine for the flight home to Ireland. Fortunately I stumbled into the book section and found English author, Santa Montefiore’s ‘Daughter’s of Castle Deverills.’ To be honest, the thing that attracted me to this book was the fact that it is set in the west of Ireland, in 1925. Also the illustration on the front cover is colourful, while depicting the Irish landscape extremely well. Even though the author of this bestseller is English, her descriptions of Ireland are on point. Plus the descriptive language creates vivid imagery that are very realistic to old Ireland. Having never heard of Santa Montefiore previously, I read the blurb and was sucked in by the simple, yet intriguing story line.

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The story is set around strong, driven female protagonists in the west of Ireland. The main character, for a large section of the novel, is Celia. Her luck turns for the better when she marries well. The events of her good fortune dramatically effect the lives of her extended family, as the castle they grew up in is bought by this driven protagonist, Celia, and her wealthy husband. Towards the end of this page turner, Celia’s luck turns for the worst – all good things come to an end – and leads her to a dramatic life changing experience in a foreign land. The subplots which run concurrent throughout the story, are well developed and just as intriguing as the main plot. We meet other strong females – Kitty and Bridie and we get equally tangled up in their love lives and life changing events.

The use of flashbacks is very well done. The flashbacks inform us of the previous owners of the castle, Celia and Kitty’s ancestors. They are now stuck in limbo, the cause for which you will have to read to find out! Different writing

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‘Daughters of Castle Deverill’ really is action packed and the fact that it’s broken into sizeable parts makes it easier to navigate. There are many characters and it can take some time to become au fait with all of them but once you do you will be sucked in. The family tree of the Ballinakelly and London Deverills is very useful. My top tip would be to have this open as you become familiar with the many characters you’ll meet. As the quote by Oscar Wilde goes, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” Wilde’s quote fits this title superbly as that is exactly how it ends. The characters face many challenges, but the ones that don’t deserve a good outcome don’t get it. Not in this novel anyway !

I was delighted when I realised at the end of the book that it was part of a series. I went out and bought the next book, ‘The Last Secret of the Deverills’ without hesitation. This is what I’m currently finishing up and I will definitely be seeking more books by this author. Thankfully she has many titles to her name.

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