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Songs of Love and War Paperback – May 5, 2016
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`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 'Santa Montefiore at her best - an enchanting read overflowing with deliciously poignant moments' -- Dinah Jefferies, author of The Tea Planter's Wife
About the Author
Born in England in 1970, Santa Montefiore grew up in Hampshire. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London. Visit her at www.santamontefiore.co.uk.
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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.
This is an involving if somewhat predictable tale told in readable prose. The background friction between the rising independence seekers and the declining ruling class is well handled. Characterisation wavers between the obvious and two-dimensional through to the more subtle portrayal of lesser cast members such as Kitty’s two maiden aunts, Laurel and Hazel, known collectively as the Shrubs.
As the narrative moves from Ballinakelly in Co. Cork through to London and New York, the reader feels in the hands of a capable storyteller and one’s interest is maintained throughout its 500 pages. Santa Montefiore’s writing is inclined towards the romantic and her dialogue doesn’t quite capture the Irish lilt but nevertheless this historical novel – the first of a trilogy - can be commended as solid, escapist fare.
The prose is poetic and vividly described. The three main characters Kitty, Birdie, and Celia are strong and independent, and their lives are bound and entangled together by the magnificent Castle Deverill that graces the Irish hillside and in some way each calls home. And the plot is an engaging saga filled with self-discovery, familial drama, social stratification, spiritual occurrences, tragedy, heartbreak, romance, war, life, loss, and friendship.
Songs of Love and War is an exquisitely written, exceptionally detailed, beautiful start to a trilogy that is sure to be a big hit with historical fiction fans and book clubs everywhere, and you can be sure that Daughters of Castle Deverill, Deverill Chronicles #2, is already on my TBR list.
Songs of Love and War by Santa Montefiore is a historical fiction set during the Irish War of Independence. This original read is the story of three friends—Kitty, Bridie and Celia. They come from different backgrounds but their friendship is unwavering. Their joys and struggles are revealed as they come to terms with their individual journey. This well-written novel moves quickly. The characters are developed with strong and identifiable voices. The setting comes to life as well. Santa Montefiore has written a page-turner.