Monday, 11 July 2016

Songs af Love And War - Santa Montefiore

Their lives were mapped out ahead of them. But love and war will change everything…
Castle Deverill, nestled in the rolling Irish hills, is home to three very different women: flame-haired Kitty Deverill, her best friend and daughter of the castle’s cook, Bridie Doyle, and her flamboyant English cousin, Celia Deverill.
When war breaks out, the lives of all three are changed forever.
Wrenched apart by betrayal, their world turned to ash, the girls’ friendship seems all but lost as they are swept to different parts of the globe.  Yet, they have one thing in common: a fierce and unwavering longing for Castle Deverill and all the memories contained within it.

What I thought:

As much as I really do love chick-lit, it is this kind of book that made me really fall in love with reading. Songs of Love and War swept me away to a time and place that I could only ever dream about . Set in 1910 in an Irish castle, it truly is an epic saga, the kind of story that would sit comfortably as a serialised television drama.

The story follows Kitty Deverill, Anglo-Irish daughter of the Castle, Bridie Doyle, Irish daughter of the Castle's cook and Celia Deverill, Kitty's English cousin as they grow up together. Celia joins the girls every year when her family come over from England to spend the summer at the Castle. Bridie's home life is devoid of any of the privileges enjoyed by Kitty, but this doesn't stop them becoming best friends.  When the Irish rebel against the English as they battle for independence, the safety of the Deverill family is threatened and amid love, secrets and lies the girls are parted, their lives changed forever.

The characters within the book are all bursting with personality. Kitty is fiery, determined and fiercely proud of her Irish heritage with Bridie equally strong-willed. Kitty is shown little affection by Maud, her mother, but she shares a special relationship with her grandmother, Adeline, who drinks a special blend of tea that I found particularly amusing. The addition of "The Shrubs", (you have to read the book to understand), was just the cherry on the cake for me. They are adorable.

Nail-biting tension, love, loss, betrayal and heartache all make this a real page-turner. I fell in love with these characters and although I was sad to come to the end of the book, I was thrilled to learn that this is part one of a trilogy and Daughters of Castle Deverill is released in July 2016.

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