Cover Image: A Maid on Fifth Avenue

A Maid on Fifth Avenue

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Member Reviews

This story comes to us in two perspectives and timelines. The 1920s storyline follows Annie Thornton as she sets for America to explore the world beyond. The 2022 storyline follows Emer as she goes to county Kerry to de-stress after a Covid burnout.

This could have been a five star read due to the following reasons.

○ I loved Annie's characterization. She was in a dilemma. While she had dreams of reaching the American shores, she couldn't imagine leaving her family behind. But her parents were very supportive and encouraged her to follow her dreams. Thus, she set sail for America and reached New York.

○This story showed various perspectives of the working class living in New York City. There were people like Annie who had great employers that didn't exploit her. She received her weekly day offs and wasn't criticized harshly for any mistakes. On the other hand, there were other workers who led a miserable life and weren't given freedom to live freely. They were restricted, burdened and not respected by their employers.

○ Annie's friendship with Noreen was quite pleasing to read. Both started off together from Ireland but they had different dreams. On one hand, Annie is content being a maid for the Cavendishes and getting to experience modern amenities that rich households of New York provide. On the other hand, Noreen has big dreams. She wants to become a big star in Hollywood. They both had their own versions of the American dream.

○ The fairy tree of county Kerry is a living and integral part of this story. People go there with their wishes and somehow the manifestation happens. This was not a fantasy element. Throughout the book, both Annie and Emer were skeptical of the magical powers of the tree, but the power of manifestation made the tree magical and extremely important to the villagers.

○ Annie's dedication to her childhood best friend May was commendable, though, I wish she could have dissuaded May from marrying Seanie, who physically abused her on a regular basis. However, the steps she takes to protect May more than make up for it.

○ Annie's romantic relationship. I won't clarify more to avoid spoilers.

○ It showed strong women like Meg who, despite being considered less than in stature compared to the men, was fighting for her seat at the table. She continued her journalism earnestly and raised voice for women.

○ This book didn't aim at becoming political. So the happenings in Ireland during the decade were partially mentioned and it was reinforced that Annie never had an interest in politics so she didn't keep up with the happenings back in Ireland.

As I mentioned, this could have been a 5 star read, but it wasn't due to the following reasons.

● Emer's role is more of a fly on the wall. She doesn't matter to the narrative and I formed absolutely no connection with her. Infact, the entire 2022 timeline was worthless. This book would have worked better with just Annie's storyline.

● I didn't like the ending to Annie's story. It was ultimately a happy ending but her life post climax was not what I had imagined for her. She deserved better. She should have completed her goals and not sacrificed everything.

These two negatives ended up reducing the impact of this book. So I'll rate it 3 stars.

Special thanks to Aria and Aries Publication, Sinéad Crowley and Netgalley for providing me the DRC of this book. Much appreciated!

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Took a long time for me to get into this book. The idea of a girl moving from Ireland back in the 1920s to New York to start over as a maid was a great idea but I don't feel this was fully explored. Nor were a lot of the other ideas behind the storyline.
The current day plotline was also started well before it descended down a truly convoluted story towards the end that veered on the ridiculous.
I wouldn't recommend this read to others unfortunately.

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This was a book, that I picked up not sure if I woukd enjoy and 3 hours later I was still sat in the same place, hooked!.
I loved the story, it was sk beautiful written.

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Annie Thornton, a spirited young woman residing in County Kerry during the 1920s, yearns to escape her stifling surroundings and explore the world beyond Ireland's shores. However, her aspirations clash with the harsh reality of her best friend May's marriage to Seánie Lynch, a man of means known for his brutish demeanor. Witnessing May's plight, Annie vows to chart her own path, determined to delay marriage and children.

In pursuit of her dreams, Annie embarks on a journey to America the following year, diligently saving her earnings to fund her voyage. Landing in New York City, she secures employment as a maid in a prestigious Fifth Avenue household. America's vibrant energy and opportunities offer Annie a fresh start far removed from the hardships of her Irish home.

An unexpected encounter with Elena, an Italian immigrant, sets Annie on an unforeseen path, forever altering her perspective. Yet, as Annie embraces her newfound freedom, she grapples with the complexities of life and love, navigating the challenges of her adopted homeland.

Meanwhile, in 2022, Emer Molloy finds herself in County Kerry, seeking solace from the burdens of post-COVID burnout. Despite her initial reluctance, Emer discovers a newfound passion for surfing under the tutelage of Rob Lynch, a charming instructor. As their paths intertwine, Emer is drawn into a web of secrets that connect the Lynch and Thornton families, unraveling mysteries buried in the sands of time.

Throughout the narrative, compelling characters such as Rob and his indomitable mother, Siobhan, captivate readers with their resilience and tenacity. As the story unfolds, Annie's journey of self-discovery resonates across generations, weaving a tapestry of intrigue and emotion.

With its richly drawn characters and enthralling plot twists, this dual timeline historical mystery grips readers from the opening pages, offering a poignant exploration of love, sacrifice, and the enduring bonds of family.

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This book started differently to what I was expecting, but it then transferred to 5th Avenue in New York. A lovely read with interesting characters who defied the relationship norms of the day, which I loved. I also loved the unexpected ending.

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A nice read for a lazy Sunday afternoon with the duel storyline. Well written but I felt like the characters could have more depth to them.

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Good story but i felt some of the characters could have been more fully developed. That said, I did enjoy it and the writing. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher

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This was my first time reading a book from the author but I am delighted to say I thoroughly enjoyed the story and I look forward to reading more books from the writer in the future

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I received this book from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Set in dual timelines - 1920s and 2022 - A Maid on Fifth Avenue tells the story of Annie Thornton who sets off for New York from County Kerry to look for a bigger life than the ones lived by her friends and family. As she settles into her new life as a maid for a wealthy family on Fifth Avenue, Annie meets Elena who ends up showing Annie a whole new way of loving someone than she thought possible.

In 2022, Emer is recovering from Covid burnout with a trip back home to her native Ireland and a summer stay at her parents holiday home where she befriends some locals and is brought into some family/local secrets that all end up connected back to Annie.

This was a fine read for me. I liked the emphasis on female friendship at the start of the novel between Annie and May, and then Annie and Noreen, and I thought Annie was a fine young woman, though it has to be said, I found her quite vanilla and boring - the same with Elena and her relationship with Annie. I was happy to see representation of a sapphic relationship in the book but I didn't feel anything for Annie and Elena, there wasn't really any chemistry between them and I thought declarations of love came very quickly. While I sympathised with Elena's situationsahip with her parents and her abusive boss/landlord, I also found her very weak and tiring as she complained to Annie about leaving her and never seeming to try and help her own situation.

I also found Annie's relationship with May at the end of the book very annoying as well - and ultimately I thought Annie's story ended up super depressing in how she put her life on hold, and stopped all of her own dreams to help other people. (view spoiler)

As for the modern part of the story, it was fine but I honestly think it added nothing other than the discovery of bones, and you could have had that bit as just an aside at the start and end of the books without actually having a 2022 storyline at all. I found some of the tensions between Emer and other characters just very odd- especially with Siobhan, and then the way Cian's story ended was very all over the place and didn't make much sense to me either as to character motivations.

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This is like two books in one! You really get into the story from the past and next minute you are reading about modern times! The author gradually weaves the two time lines together to make a most enjoyable read.

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It took me a while to get into this novel with its two time lines, but reading they slowly merge and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The author writes well and what was most impressive was that it was full of surprises and totally unpredictable. Annie and Emer were great characters and easy to like.

A glimpse of life in America in the late 1920s where Irish Annie worked as a maid, and develops a close relationship with an Italian girl. Back in Ireland the reader has an insight into the culture of the era and the close knit families, both in the 1920s and the present. Annie is placed in the difficult situation where she has to decide between her new American friend and her loyalty towards her childhood friend in Ireland. Meanwhile in the present, Emer is enjoying a summer of love away from her busy American lifestyle but even her promises to herself cannot be kept when the past catches.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this e-APC.

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I thought this was a thoroughly engaging read featuring two charismatic, independent women.

Annie who emigrated from Kerry to New York in the 1920s to work as a maid in Manhattan
Emer who has moved from Dublin to California, but is spending the 2022 summer in Kerry as she is burnt out from work.

I loved how the timelines replicated their journeys back and forth between Ireland and America, both seeking fresh starts and job opportunities not available locally to them. The vivid settings and attention to detail immersed me in rural Kerry where I could feel the wildness of the Atlantic, and then to a crowded 1920s New York full of excitement and with so much potential to chase dreams. Even forbidden ones.

Both Annie and Emer face challenges, and detours in their lives, and I appreciated how courageously they face up to them. There is romance for both characters, and I enjoyed how they unfolded, but they are not a central theme. The focus is on the fresh beginnings and stepping into the unknown.

A lovely uplifting read. I'd highly recommend it if you enjoy dual timelines, Irish/US settings, a touch of suspense and independent female characters.

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A great novel with a good plot that becomes an enjoyable read. Relatable characters that you can journey with as the novel unfolds. Would recommend for a Sunday afternoon or poolside read.

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I was thrilled to be offered to read this book, as I absolutely loved The Belladonna Maze, and I'm so in love with this story. It was emotional, so beautifully written and I couldn't put it down. Such a hard hitting, yet romantic story. The characters were fantastic. Thank you to the author, publisher and netgalley for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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As is my usual way with reviews, I will not be repeating the precise of the story here as I believe that the professionals do a better job without giving too much away. What you really need to know is whether this book is worth reading.
This is a book set-in two-time frames and two places, the US and Ireland although everyone begins their story in Ireland. I enjoyed the character and story of Emer but found the historical backstory of Annie rather drawn out. This book left me feeling a bit disappointed but perhaps I just didn’t relate to or engage with the characters.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this dual time novel. I felt immediately drawn to both time periods which were perfectly portrayed. The romance storylines were far from ordinary and really sucked the reader into the story. The references to covid were very accurate and helped the reader to empathise with the characters we all have those memories of covid times. This was an excellent novel I'd highly recommend.

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A pleasure story to read. Jumps between current day and early years and all comes together in the end. Good characters. Very real to life with young girls starting new lives in America. Times were very different. Good storyline and keeps you reading.

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I adore this author , I was so looking forward to reading her new novel and am so grateful to have access. The characters always feel so relatable and the sense of loss and great hope are always balanced in the end. Thank you.

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Even though I enjoy a dual timeline this again was a novel where my concentration lacked read to a point but synopsis seems good.

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This book is written in two different timelines. It was a pleasure to read and I enjoyed going between the timelines. Characters were great and relatable. I look forward to the next book by this author.

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