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February 15, 2023

The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


The Maid of Ballymacool
is a Cinderella story set in Ireland in the 1930s.  Ireland at this time was still a very class-orientated society and the upper class rarely mixed with the people who were below them on the economic scale.  In this story, love was more important than class or occupation and after many problems, the two main characters got their happily-ever-after ending.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical romance novel The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel
February 2023; Revell; 978-0800742713
ebook, print (352 pages); historical romance

Brianna was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School when she was an infant.   The head of the school treated her terribly and made sure that she worked long hours.  In her small amount of free time, she liked to walk in the woods and look for small treasures to add to her collection hidden in her small room.  Michael is sent to the boarding school to help his niece who is being bullied - or is she bullying other students?   He's from the upper crust of society but was a nice person who cared about people at all levels.  He soon finds out that he has a strong attraction to Brianna and was appalled at the way she was treated.   Will the two of them be able to be together or will the constraints of society keep them apart?  What is the secret about Brianna's real family that several people in her life are trying to keep hidden from her?  One of the most complex characters was Mistress Magee.  She ran the school with an iron fist and kept the students' days totally regimented.  She's also the person who makes Brianna work such long hours.  There are several chapters from her point of view that are crucial to the plot as the mystery surrounding Brianna slowly unravels.

This was a light read and both of the main characters were well-written.  I don't know that I could really believe that a couple this far apart in society could become a couple but once I quit questioning that aspect, I really enjoyed the book. My other problem with the book was the use of Gaelic language in some conversations.    The author did include a list of Gaelic words at the end of the book that I wasn't aware of until I finished reading it.   As a plus, there are fantastic descriptions of Ireland that help add to the beauty of the story.

This Cinderella story has a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.  



Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  


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