Published: August 5, 2014
Recommended for readers wanting a slightly supernatural romance
Set in Ireland on the wild coast of Connemara, this hauntingly romantic novel tells the story of a young woman who goes in search of her family’s past and ends up discovering her future.
Ellen Trawton is running away from it all. She hates her job, she doesn’t love the aristocratic man to whom she is engaged, and her relationship with her controlling mother is becoming increasingly strained. So Ellen leaves London, fleeing to the one place she knows her mother won’t find her, her aunt’s cottage in Connemara. Cutting all her ties with chic London society, Ellen gives in to Ireland’s charm and warmth, thinking her future may lie where so much of her past has been hidden. Her imagination is soon captured by the compelling ruins of a lighthouse where, five years earlier, a young mother died in a fire.
The ghost of the young wife, Caitlin, haunts the nearby castle, mourning the future she can never have there. Unable to move on, she watches her husband and children, hoping they might see her and feel her love once more. But she doesn’t anticipate her husband falling in love again. Can she prevent it? Or can she let go and find a way to freedom and happiness?
The ruggedly beautiful Connemara coastline with its tightknit community of unforgettable characters provides the backdrop for this poignant story of two women seeking the peace and love they desperately need. For each, the key will be found in the secrets of the past, illuminated by the lighthouse.
Ireland is one of those places I've always wanted to visit, but have yet to make it over there. In the meantime, there are books like this that can sate my Ireland-fever. Montefiore creates a delightful Irish village full of characters and secrets--one that I think anyone would like to visit.
The main character of Ellen was probably the least interesting of the bunch. There isn't anything wrong with her, but I just didn't find her as interesting or as unique as everyone else. The rest of the bunch, however, were all deliciously quirky.
I also really enjoyed the spiritual aspect of this book. By "spiritual," I do not mean religious. Caitlin is described as a ghost in the summary--but I think of her more as a spirit in flux and I appreciated the way Montefiore revealed her to the reader.
The conclusion of the book was predictable, but still satisfying. I think that Montefiore had a very clear vision of how this book should go and, even though the finale was expected, it seemed to be natural at the same time.
This book came to me as a work along the lines of something by Maeve Binchy. While I don't think it is quite up to that level, it was an enjoyable read and one that I would recommend for anyone who had a desire to visit the Emerald Isle.
I received an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review. I received no other compensation for this post.