Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About The Girl in the Castle
• Paperback: 576 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 27, 2016)
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.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I had a really hard time connecting with it. It took me awhile to get into it and for a long time I didn’t really connect with the characters…I didn’t like most of them, actually.
I think another reason I had such a hard time connecting with this book was the writing style. The writing was more formal and I felt distance from the narrative, like I was an outsider watching the events take place. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you probably know that I really like to feel like I’m part of the narrative. I also felt like things moved along pretty quickly, and I wanted things to slow down a little at times so that we could really explore certain things that happened.
That being said, I felt the emotions and gravity of were explored and not swept under the rug, which I appreciated. And as the story went on I found that I really came to like some of the characters I didn’t like at first, even if I didn’t feel the strongest connections to them. I liked that the author pulled in some Irish mythology. I also thought the view the author presented of this time period was fascinating.
The things that make me a little iffy about the book are totally a personal preference, so others might absolutely love this. If it sounds like a book you’d enjoy, then you should definitely check it out! I’ve looked at quite a few books by this author, which is what drew me to this one. I’ll definitely check those other books out.
About Santa Montefiore
Santa Montefiore was born in England. She went to Sherborne School for Girls in Dorset and studied Spanish and Italian at Exeter University. She has written sixteen bestselling novels, which have been translated into thirty different languages and have sold more than two million copies worldwide.