2016 Reviews · Beauty and Lace review · historical fiction · Ireland · saga

Book Review: Daughters of Castle Deverill by Santa Montefiore

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Book blurb:

It is 1925 and the war is long over. But much has been lost and life will never truly be the same again.

Castle Deverill, cherished home to the Deverill family in the west of Ireland for hundreds of years, has burned to the ground. But young and flighty Celia Deverill is determined to restore the sad ruins to its former glory. Celia married well and has the wealth, after all, to keep it in the family and she cannot bear to see it stand neglected.
But dark shadows are gathering once more, as the financial markets start to shake. And everything that felt so certain is thrown once again into doubt.

A sweeping story of family and history, from the author of the top ten bestseller Songs of Love and War.

My review:

I came into The Daughters of Castle Deverill, the second book in a series written by established British author Santa Montefiore, having just read its predecessor, Songs of Love and War. Although it is not essential to have read the first book, Songs of Love and War, to enjoy The Daughters of Castle Deverill, I believe it enhanced my reading experience. It gave me a good handle on the characters and the scene that had been set. However, Montefiore does devote time in the Daughters of Castle Deverill in keeping her readers up to speed on her characters and their lives, which enables the book to also be read as a standalone novel.

As The Daughters of Castle Deverill opens, Montefiore is quick to transport her readers to the current comings and goings of her characters. There are three main characters to follow in this book – Bridie, Kitty and Celia. Each has their own compelling story and they are all quite different in their own way. This adds to the enjoyment of this novel, as it feels like you are getting three stories in the one novel. The beautiful Castle Deverill, which is connected each of these characters, now stands ruined after a fire. As Celia vows to return the castle to its former glory, Kitty and Bridie both experience their own triumphs and tragedies. The book moves seamlessly between the natural beauty of south west Ireland, through to the bright lights of New York city. Montefiore also adds another locale, by basing an additional story thread in South Africa, allowing her to contrast all three settings. As the lingering effects of the Great War is felt, followed by the financial crash of 1929, the book focuses on how this impacts on our three main players. It is a novel that is grand in scale, as it also traces the heritage of the Deverill Castle and its inhabitants, back to the time of the reign of King Charles II. Here, an ancient curse is revealed, impacting on the present occupants of Castle Deverill.

The Daughters of Castle Deverill is the perfect weekend read, it truly is pure escapism. The sweeping nature of the novel and the grandness in scale, makes it a wonderful romantic saga to get lost in. I have read a number of Santa Montefiore books in the past and I have enjoyed each and every one of them. I do like the direction Montefiore has taken with her Deverill series. She has seeped her series deep in rich Irish history, she delivers a strong sense of place and presents the reader with a rich cast of main, as well as supporting characters. I was sorry to reach the end of The Daughters of Castle Deverill, as I now have to wait for the third and final chapter in the series. I am hoping the open ending and unanswered questions that I had after closing the second book will be resolved by Montefiore in the next book.

3.5 stars

*Please note that a free copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes through Beauty and Lace. To read the original review on the Beauty and Lace website please visit here

Daughters of Castle Deverill by Santa Montefiore was published in September 2016 by Simon and Schuster Australia.

 

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