Cover Image: The Lady of Galway Manor

The Lady of Galway Manor

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Member Reviews

Set in Galway amidst the unrest between the Irish seeking independence, and the British Lords who suppress them, this book is a historical triumph. 
   Stephen an Irish artisan is asked to take on an apprentice. He’s more than surprised when Annabeth the daughter of Lord De Lacy shows up to work with him. Stephen has no time for an Englishwoman or any other for that matter. He’s been burned and isn’t looking for the complication, no matter how attractive she may be.
   Annabeth knows nothing about the Irish and is surprised by their authenticity. She’s drawn to their community and begins to see through Stephen and his father Seamus that they are much more than she expected.
   They come from vastly different backgrounds but as they spend time together they find the differences that separate them might not be as great as they thought. Stephen begins to see Christ lived out through Annabeth’s care toward him and his people. Can he risk his heart for a chance at this kind of love?
   This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.
   I was given a copy courtesy of Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group. This I my honest review.
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Annabeth De Lacy just wants to learn about Irish culture. The problem is that, as a member of the British aristocracy whose father was sent to be a landlord in Ireland during the 1920s, her presence is resented. Her father convinces a local jewelry maker to let her apprentice under him, finally allowing her the chance to learn about the people who are now her neighbors. The fact that said person is also young, handsome, and single is just an added benefit. 

I enjoyed this book! As much as I read books based in England, I realized while reading this that I rarely read books about Ireland. It was fascinating to get this glimpse into their culture and history, and Jennifer did an excellent job recreating the Gaelic language and Irish accents. I also loved that the jewelry makers in question specialized in the iconic Claddagh designs, and so the story it was told as well. I had never heard about this style of jewelry before, and just a few days after finishing this book I was at a book club and one of the girls there was wearing a Claddagh ring, which really brought it to life for me. 

I really only have two complaints about this book. First, it was really hard for me to place the time period that this book took place without being told that it was 1920. Everything may have been completely accurate (again, I'm not super familiar with Irish history), but I am familiar with this era and my initial guess at a time period was still in the 1800s. My second complaint is that there were some points where the characters felt a bit melodramatic. Stephen, especially, seemed a little over the top at times when it came to his disbelief in love and rejecting the notion that it was real. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable historical romance with a fascinating glimpse into Ireland's past.
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Once again Jennifer Deibel transforms the seemingly ordinary into an enchanting and atmospheric tale. I especially loved learning more about the claddagh rings and the history behind them.
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A delightful story with the added reminder of God's grace and mercy. Wonderful inclusion of the mix of characters and how classes have made such an impact on life a we know it.
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The time is post World War 1, the location is Galway, Ireland, the major players are Lady Annabeth De Lacy and Stephen Jennings, the situations are tense from the get-go.  Lady Annabeth's father is the new landlord for the Galway area of Ireland.  The locals, for the most part, are resistant to the British rule of the area and plan to make a point of telling the British Government they are not welcome.  Lady Annabeth, or Anna, as she likes to be called is a rather creative type person who wants to learn silversmithing and the making of the Claddagh designs in jewelry.  Her father arranges an apprenticeship with Stephen Jennings and his father.  Stephen reluctantly takes her under his wing and teaches her about the jewelry, the people, and the customs of the area.  

The De Lacy family is in dire financial straits due to Lord De Lacy's mismanagement of family funds. He has been posted to Galway as a last ditch effort to bring his standing with the nobility up to snuff, only he doesn't tell his family this.  What he tries to do is to coerce Anna into a marriage with a man many years her senior, a man whom Anna knows to be a bully, but a man who is willing to bail them out financially.  Anna does not want this marriage at all, and her younger sister, Emmaline is willing to take it on because she wants to live in the nobility/society circles.  Anna doesn't want her sister to take on this man because of his reputation and age.  She feels it is too great a sacrifice.  

Jennifer Deibel has taken real conflicts and woven them into the warp and woof of a completely readable novel.  She has also taken the best and worst traits of mankind and made believable characters who are flawed and real.  The events in the book help to move the plot at a steady pace and keep the reader engaged.  There wasn't much I didn't like about the book.  The autonomy that Jennifer has imbued into Anna gives her the ability to design special jewelry for customers and for herself.  

Five Stars, two thumbs up, and a Celtic Cross Claddagh 

Revell Publishing and provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
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The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel is a great historical fiction that tells of a beautiful story of love finding a way to blossom in times of uncertainty, upheaval, and change. 

What a wonderful, wonderful story. I love anything that takes place in Ireland, and being able to visit Galway City (era 1920s) was just breathtaking. The descriptions of the landscapes, structures, fashions, and life in this place and at this time…lets just say that the author has a real talent. 

I loved this story of Annabeth and Stephen. That despite their differences of family, upbringing, and current social situations they found something in one another that went above all of those things. Their story and the progression towards the ending was slow, powerful, and romantic. I liked their respective characters as well. Both were likable, realistic, and had strong moral compasses. The passion and love that developed is evident as well. 

Many changes were taking place politically at this time, and the author did a great job adding that feeling of unrest and volatility to the storyline gave things a sense of urgency and importance. I liked the balance between reality and romance. 

I enjoyed the plot, pacing, and I loved the ending. I also enjoyed the Author’s Note at the end giving reference and inspiration. 

A great read for anyone that loves historical fiction. 

5/5 stars 

Thank you NG and Revell Publishing for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. 

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 2/1/22.
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