I am not usually keen on historical fiction, but this book starts in two different time periods, with a village in County Kerry being the common denominator in both parts of the story. As the book starts, Annie moves to New York to work. Her experiences are portrayed in an interesting way and there are a couple of unexpected twists in her story.
In the present day, Emer is at home in Ireland from her home in California. Life has been tough during the pandemic and she has decided to take some time out. The book describes her summer, the people she meets and as the book moves on, the stories of Emer and Annie start to converge as people connected to both of them become apparent.
I loved the descriptions in this book, both the lives of the main characters are well documented and interesting. The other characters are also well portrayed and realistic. The twists in the plot give the book a modern feel (the lack of which is my main reason to dislike historical fiction) and the Irish and New York locations add a little humour at times.
A great read, thanks to Net Galley for the ARC
"A Maid On Fifth Avenue" by Sinéad Crowley is a dual timeline book. The first timeline tells the story of Annie Thornton from Co Kerry in Ireland in the 1920s after the Irish Civil war. She emigrates to America and gets a job in New York as a maid, with the Cavendish family, who live on Fifth Avenue. While there, she meets an Italian girl, Elena and they tentatively start a secret romance. However it is not long before Annie's past in Ireland catches up with her.
I loved the character of Annie. I found her character well written and believable and I was really hoping it all worked out well for her though the book . Her story kept me turning the pages
The second timeline deals with Rob, a surf instructor who lives with his mother in Co Kerry who befriends Emer. Emer who is Irish and works in America has returned to Ireland for a break. To be honest I didn't really care about this part of the story . I found Rob and Emer really annoying and whiny . I skimmed these parts.
Despite this I did really enjoy Annie's story. It is definitely worth a read for her story alone.
A Maid in Fifth Avenue is a wonderful story taking the reader from rural Ireland to New York following Annie in the 1920's who yearns for a different life and Emer in 2022 visiting Ireland from America .Annie's and Emer's lives are intertwined even though they are 100 years apart a joyful story of love and hope .Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC
A Maid on Fifth Avenue by Sinead Crowley is a wonderful dual timeline story that spans the distance between rural Kerry and the streets of New York, and the decades from the turbulent 1920s to the modern post pandemic world.
Emer, a freelance film director with roots in Kerry is feeling burnt out post pandemic, and a few months in her family's second home by the beach might be just what her therapist ordered. When she meets local surf instructor Rob and decides to take lessons, she meets another recent American transplant, Alison who is helping out at the surf school but may also be hiding a secret.
Meanwhile in the same West Kerry village in the 1920's Annie Thornton is dreaming of seeing the world, even if it means leaving her family and her best friend May behind in less than ideal circumstances. When she gets the opportunity to travel to New York and finds herself working as a maid for a wealthy family on fifth avenue she embraces her new life whole heartedly and soon finds herself befriending a young Italian waitress, Elena. As this friendship begins to develop into something more Annie finds herself questioning what her future holds, and how she fits into society, but when a dangerous face from her past reappears she is forced to flee and leave Elena behind , with tragic consequences for everyone that will not come to light for decades .
Often in dual timeline stories like this I find myself more drawn to one of the stories , and in this case it was Annie's story that really captured my heart and my imagination. I loved her strength and determination and seeing her grow into her potential, so it broke my heart when she lost so much. While I enjoyed Emer's storyline it just did not hold my attention in quite the same way. That being said, the mystery subplot involving Alison in this timeline did keep me guessing even if the resolution was just a little too convenient for my liking.
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
I loved this book! It is a very well-told story that provides relevant historical information about people of Irish origin. I confess that I was surprised by the happy ending!
Told in two different storyline’s between Annie in the 1800’s and Emer now, this book tells the story of a hardworking girl who made sacrifices to help her friends and those she loved. In the present time, Emer is drawn into a family history mystery with her summer fling, Rob. I really enjoyed the family history stuff and felt in my heart the hardness of life for women in the 1800’s. Not being Irish, I did find some of the language that was used difficult to understand, and although sometimes another language is used in a story, it’s usually French/italian/German and I find that much easier to understand and work out what they’re saying even though I don’t know those languages either and this was the reason for 4 and not 5 stars.
Annie Thornton lives in the small village of Ballydrynawn, in County Kerry, she dreams of a different life, her mother Eileen knows she’s unhappy and gives her blessing for her to leave Ireland and travel to America. Annie wants to go but she's worried about her best friend best friend May, who’s married to a bully and there's nothing Annie can do about it.
Annie boards a ship bound for New York and she's never been further than Dingle in her life, Irish women have no trouble finding work in America, the nuns help and there's a big demand for maids. Annie is employed by Mrs. Cavendish, they own a mansion on Fifth Avenue, and she sends letters and money home to her family.
Annie meets an Italian waitress called Elena, her family are very strict and have a man picked out for her to marry. Annie and Elena’s friendship changes, Annie finds herself day dreaming about Elena, both women are confused by their feelings for each other, can women love each other and surely not?
A Maid on Fifth Avenue has a dual timeline, it’s set in the 1920’s and 2022, and told from the two main characters points of view, Annie and Emer.
Emer Molloy leaves Los Angeles, California, to return home to Ireland and she’s suffering from Covid burnout and, her parents own a holiday cottage in Ballydrynawn, County Kerry and she spent her summers here as a child. Emer’s goes for a walk to look at the Fairy Tree, it’s over a hundred years old and the beach and meets a handsome surfer Robert Lynch. He owns a surfing school, Emer takes lessons and can’t believe how much she enjoys it.
Annie and Emer’s lives are intertwined, a hundred years apart, and it’s up to Emer and Rob to try unravel the tangled web of secrets, hidden clues and then lighting strikes!
I received a digital copy of A Maid of Fifth Avenue by Sinéad Crowley from Aria & Aries and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A fascinating and captivating story about living in a small Irish village and dreaming about exploring the world, the Fairy Tree where people have left messages and tokens for over a hundred years, homesickness, mystery and Annie was my favourite character.
Not only was she a wonderful sister, daughter, friend, unselfish, reliable and loyal. Annie had no idea women loved and were attracted to other woman, my guess is in the 1920’s the topic was never mention, no wonder Annie was so confused and it's a narrative about discovering love is love. A dual timeline mystery, full of unexpected twist and turns and five stars from me.
This is part historical fiction and part modern day as it skips between Emer in 2022 and Annie starting in 1908 and progressing from her childhood to adulthood young woman.
Annie has wanted to go to America for a long time and leave Ballydrynanwn but when she was younger her mother was so poorly and she is scared to leave her. Her mother however encourages her to follow her dream and Annie leaves for a whole new life across the ocean. She gets a job working for the Cavendish family in a mansion on Fifth Avenue.
Emer has returned home after being in America all alone during the pandemic. Her parents are shocked to see her as they were about to leave and visit Emer on the way to visit her brother who is soon to become a father. Emer tells them to continue with their trip as it will coincide with the birth of the baby and Emer decided to go stay at the family holiday let in Ballydrynawn. Little does she know that a chance meeting and a surf lesson will make it a summer to remember.
I really enjoyed the dual aspect of this book and Annie and Emers stories and how they intertwine as you progress through the book and the story. I enjoyed the storyline and the ending had a twist that I wasn’t expecting. I have definitely loved reading this book.
This is a great split-time read, with Annie, off on the boat to America, desperate to change her life but still tied to her family and best friend in Ireland and dealing with the laws and societal attitudes of the 1920s contrasted with Emer, who decades later finds herself in Annie's part of Ireland, caught up in an intriguing search for the truth.
The author has brilliantly divided the 2 worlds by the fashions, attitudes, careers and freedoms of the 2 time periods whilst still intertwining the stories of Annie and Emer through the commonalities of family, love and loyalty.
This is a story about escaping your past life, but can you really escape the past? Annie thinks so but is she in for a surprise? And in a dual-timeline story Emer is running from the past two. How do both their stories entwine?
This is a very interesting historical fiction that takes you on a journey of two women trying to escape their pasts. This is a well written and interesting read, great characters and flowed well between the two timelines. There are a few twists within the story and overall it was a wonderful read which I enjoyed very much.
Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
This fascinating story is set in two timelines – Annie’s story is set in the early 1920s, and she dreams of travelling to see America. Whereas Emer is returning to her old home in Ireland after being away for a long while. Her story is set in the present time.
The Irish countryside is described so beautifully you feel you are there, with the contrasting vibrancy of New York, which Annie experiences working as a maid. The two women are well rounded characters who develop as the story unfolds. Annie becomes romantically absorbed in a forbidden love, which is sensitively explored by the author.
In contrast, Emer is desperate to leave her demanding job and lifestyle in America and relax enjoying her old home again. Learning to surf and re visiting old haunts, romance develops between her and Rob.
I enjoyed reading about the past catching up with the two women, their diverse circumstances with various secrets explored, and the connection between them. With difficult decisions which must be made, this is a steadily building plot with a dramatic unexpected ending.
Really loved this book! It was told on a dual timeline, which almost felt as though I was reading two very different books at the same time, but when they started to come together it was such a great read, I loved the story of Annie who was desperate to leave her home town in Ireland in search of adventures in New York. She gets a job as a maid in a beautiful home on 5th Avenue and begins to make a new life for herself. Meanwhile, in the present day, Emer returns to Ireland from the US looking for some quiet time at home to rest and recuperate. What is the thread that joins these two very different women, one from the past and one from the present? I really enjoyed finding out.
I have been a long time fan of Sinead Crowley's books, especially the Ds Clare Boyle series. A Maid on Fifth Avenue, her latest novel, is also a gripping read, with a dual timeline, and is set mainly in Kerry and New York. I feel it will really resonate with her Irish fan base, as there cannot be a family in Ireland that has not had somebody emigrate to the USA due to the economic climate. It is a well crafted story of love, loss and hidden secrets that are eventually exposed. The two protagonists, Annie and Emer, are vividly drawn and it is easy to get invested in their stories. The twists and turns throughout are unpredictable and well thought out. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC.
This book spends about 100 years detailing the lives of some Irish people who leave Ireland and move to America, and then also come back to Ireland to manage some unresolved issues. There are two stories happening at once in the book one in the present day and one in the 1920s. How these stories are intertwined takes a little bit of time to really understand and I found the connections a little bit dubious at times. However, each story has its merits and once you get into the rhythm of the book it starts to make a bit of sense Thing that I really just don’t understand is how people surf in Ireland. I just understand it to be very cold dark and windy place not known for its surfing.
A wonderful read a story I was drawn in to from the first page.I enjoyed the dual timeline and Annie impressed me with her desire to travel see the world.I will look forward to more by this author.#netgalley #amaidonfifthavenue.
A really enjoyable book by the author of The Belladonna Maze. Set across two timelines, New York in the 1920s and modern day Ireland, it follows the story of two women - Annie who dreams of travelling across the ocean to America and Emer who has returned to Ireland for a summer holiday after living in LA for over a decade.. At times, I found myself wanting to get through the chapters about Emer quicker so that I could get back to reading about Annie - her perspective of life as a 'Bridget' in New York during the Jazz Age was fascinating and I was so rooting for her throughout the book. Emer's story felt a little more predictable and her character didn't develop in the same way or intrigue me as much but Sinead Crowley skilfully brought the stories of both women together as the book progressed. A great read overall, though Annie's story was the real highlight for me.
I enjoyed this book by Sinead Crowley, a dual timeline novel set in early 1900s New York and in present day Ireland.
Annie dreams of travelling the world but she has lingering doubts after living through her mother's traumatic illness. She has a huge loyalty to her family and friends but finally decides to go to New York to make a new life for herself. The descriptions of Annie's life as a new Irish immigrant are excellent and at times one could really feel the heat of the crowded dance room or the feeling of suffering under an icy glare from a housekeeper.
Emer's storyline develops as she finds herself back in Ireland, having emigrated to California years earlier. The pandemic has taken its toll on her mental and physical well being so she comes home to find out who she really is. The possibility of romance blossoms for them both but barriers stand in the way of each of their potential relationships
Overall this was an enjoyable read with some unpredictable twists. I felt some of the secondary characters - May, Elena and the American relative could have been more well rounded but didn't really detract from the storyline. 4/5
Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for an advanced release copy in exchange for an honest review.
A Maid on Fifth Avenue, is told in dual timeline and is the story of an Irish dreamer - Annie who dreams of traveling the world.
The story is bittersweet for our heroine Annie , it is a layered story with it's characters who pull you in for a cosy, emotional storytelling time throughout.
I did very much enjoy this. I think I expected too much as I loved The Belladonna Maze and that is hard to live up to but this is still a really good read. I loved the two timeframes and I think the characters in Annie's world were wonderfully well done. I enjoyed Meg in particular. Elena, I felt, never really got a chance to be a rounded character, which was a pity because it was hard to understand the depth of the attraction and the effect on Annie's life when we barely saw them interact and most of those interactions were soured by Elena. The story in the later years was definitely intriguing and .gathered pace as it approached the end; Emer herself was a great character and I enjoyed the meetings with Siobhan and the developing relationship with Rob. The settings were probably the strongest part of the book. very vivid and real. I look forward to the next book by this author!
Gosh this was an amazing book. I didn’t immediately warm to Emer’s character but was utterly gripped by Annie and her yearning to explore the world, it blows my mind to think of how brave she was to leave all she knew for her new life in New York. I loved reading about her and Elena, even the challenges they faced. Her devotion and loyalty to her best friend was genuinely incredible. The story worked well flitting between eras and I grew to like Emer and was pleased that she settled into life back “home”- the twist in the tale with his mum I absolutely didn’t see coming, but I won’t ruin it! Really enjoyed the story and was sad to have finished it too quickly.