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Songs of love and war by Santa Montefiore
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Songs of love and war (2015)

by Santa Montefiore

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Kitty Deverill has always loved Ireland and her beloved family home, Castle Deverill. But, she is not Irish, she is Anglo-Irish and while she loves Ireland and its people, she is an outsider in a dangerous, rebellious land. As Kitty grows from a spirited young girl into a fiery young woman, she must decide what is most important in her life and where her life will eventually lead. Will she ever see her childhood best friend, Bridie, the castle servant turned ladies maid? Will she ever marry the love of her life since early childhood, Jack O'Leary, despite their differences in class, religion, and heritage? Will their family ever escape the curse placed upon them in 1662...that the Deverill heirs will never rest and be forced to live out all eternity in Castle Deverill as wandering spirits?

This was a fantastic book! I read it in 3 days and now I cannot wait to see what happens to Jack, Kitty, Bridie, Michael, and all the other characters that I have become fascinated with! Apparently this is a 3 book series and I cannot wait until the next 2 are released! I love the history of the novel as well as the supernatural aspects of it! It makes it so very interesting and leaves you wanting more! Thank you LibraryThing and William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers for the advanced copy of this book! It took me awhile to read it, but it was well worth the wait and I anxiously await the next 2 books in the series! ( )
  chrirob | Feb 19, 2017 |
HarperCollins Publishers says, “a powerful story of love, loyalty, and friendship, The Girl in the Castle is an exquisitely written novel set against the magical, captivating landscape of Ireland.”
  mcmlsbookbutler | Feb 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed this novel. It is beautifully written and full of interesting fully fleshed characters. I now need to go visit Ireland! I enjoyed the history of the Irish revolution and the life paths of Kitty Deverille, the girl in the castle, and of her best friend Bridie Doyle the daughter of the castles cook. Their lives go through many distinct changes and challenges. I am glad to see that this is just part one of a three part series as it did end with a lot of loose ends. I will definitely be reading the second and third of the series. Highly recommended. ( )
  erinclark | Nov 28, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is the third book I have read by Santa Montefiore and I can flat out state it won't be the last. I very much enjoyed The Beekeeper's Daughter as well as Secrets of the Lighthouse.

Now this book, The Girl in the Castle, captured me immediately. If you like stories set in Ireland, reading a bit of the historical fiction interspersed about the Irish War for Independence and a bit of ghost appearances to boot - you will love this book.

I'm not big on paranormal stories but the ghost part wasn't a primary feature. They did figure in but as a supporting role, and a very light supporting role at that. Early on I was invested in the progressing life story lines of the Deverill family, Jack O'Leary and the Doyles.

The story starts with Kitty Deverill and Bridie Doyle as 9 year old girls. Kitty lives a privileged life in the castle and Bridie is the daughter of one of the cooks. This doesn't stop them from forming a deep friendship and feeling like they are sisters. Two different worlds these girls inhabit but Kitty is as Irish as any Doyle or O'Leary. Kitty's mother Maude is English and so the family is called Anglo Irish - this sets them apart during the Irish uprising. There is enough action, a bit of romance and lovely descriptions of West Cork, Ireland to get lost in.

Be warned, this is the exact same book as The Songs of Love in War so don't purchase both! The Girl in the Castle is the title released in the USA and Songs of Love and War is the British title. It's the same book.

The second book is called The Daughters of Castle Deverill. I am certainly getting that one on Kindle. There is a bit of food mentioned in the book and I admit to grabbing a recipe from the cookbook London to pair with this novel. The recipe may be found at www.Novelmeals.wordpress.com. I spent some time reading and eating. That's a nice thing to do. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Nov 28, 2016 |
Previously released as Songs of Love and War, Santa Montefiore renamed the first novel in an Irish trilogy, The Girl in the Castle for distribution in the US.

A combination of drama and romance, this historical fiction novel is unpredictable until the very last chapter. Beginning with a prologue set in the present, we don’t discover who the little boy might be until the very last page (where we still aren’t 100% certain). After the brief introduction to a dilapidated castle that burned down and years before, we are taken transported to a time when the castle was very much alive with family and intrigue.

Based in Ireland in the 1900s, The Girl in the Castle follows the Deverill family, particularly the youngest daughter Kitty, as she struggles to find her place.

Montefiore does a great job of demonstrating the political and social climate of Ireland in the years before World War I. Personally, I knew a little about the animosity between Ireland and England, but this novel explained a lot more of the background and put a lot of the historical facts into perspective. The battles and espionage surrounding the Anglo-Irish relationship added so much depth to the story and really took center stage throughout the narrative.

Kitty was not really a lonely child, but her best friend was her maid and their mutual friend from the local village became the love of her life. While Kitty’s loyalties never wavered, it was interesting to see how she moved back and forth within society. On the one hand, her family was historically British, despised by the locals for having taken their Irish land. On the other hand, Ireland was the only home Kitty had ever known and the only place she wanted to be.

The book started off extremely slow, describing the minutiae of every person, place, and thing mentioned. There was so much information about so many different aspects that I felt like this volume could’ve been cut into two separate novels and been made into a series rather than a trilogy, but by the time I was halfway through, the tangled web of characters had become so intricately woven that it was hard to put down! I’m definitely looking forward to Santa Montefiore’s next installment! ( )
1 vote CInacio | Nov 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Voor Tim Kelly, mijn dierbare vriend,

zonder wiens steun en goede raad ik nooit de moed zou hebben gehad om dit boek te schrijven.
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Kitty Deverill was negen.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062456857, Paperback)

International sensation Santa Montefiore presents the first book in a trilogy that follows three Irish women through the decades of the twentieth century—perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Hazel Gaynor.

Born on the ninth day of the ninth month in the year 1900, Kitty Deverill is special as her grandmother has always told her. Built on the stunning green hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill is Kitty’s beloved home, where many generations of Deverills have also resided. Although she’s Anglo-Irish, Kitty’s heart completely belongs to the wild countryside of the Emerald Isle, and her devotion to her Irish-Catholic friends Bridie Doyle, the daughter of the castle’s cook, and Jack O’Leary, the vet’s son, is unmatched—even if Jack is always reminding her that she isn’t fully Irish. Still, Jack and Kitty can’t help falling in love although they both know their union faces the greatest obstacles since they are from different worlds.

Bridie cherishes her friendship with Kitty, who makes her feel more like her equal than a servant. Yet she can’t help dreaming of someday having all the wealth and glamour Kitty’s station in life affords her. But when she discovers a secret that Kitty has been keeping from her, Bridie finds herself growing resentful toward the girl in the castle who seems to have it all.

When the Irish revolt to throw over British rule in Southern Ireland, Jack enlists to fight. Worried for her safety, Jack warns Kitty to keep her distance, but she refuses and throws herself into the cause for Irish liberty, running messages and ammunition between the rebels. But as Kitty soon discovers, her allegiance to her family and her friends will be tested—and when Castle Deverill comes under attack, the only home and life she’s ever known are threatened.

A powerful story of love, loyalty, and friendship, The Girl in the Castle is an exquisitely written novel set against the magical, captivating landscape of Ireland.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 11 Jun 2016 17:41:27 -0400)

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