Author: Santa Montefiore
Daughters of Castle Deverill is the second book in a trilogy, which I didn’t know until I got halfway through the book because I didn’t do my research. I found the book to stand alone beautifully and I don’t think I lost anything having not read Songs of Love and War; but I do want to go back and read the first book because I’m intrigued as to how the characters came to be as they were at the beginning of this volume.
Castle Deverill is a grand manor in Ireland that has been the heart of the Deverill family for almost 300 years. The land was given to Barton Deverill by King Charles II to reward his loyalty, but it was taken from the Irish to do so. We see in the beginning pages that Barton Deverill, and his descendants, are cursed to unrest and the world of the undead until the wrongs are righted.
The story unfolds in 1925, after the war has ended and the relations between the English and the Irish have calmed. The troubles have come and gone and life goes on. Castle Deverill has been burnt down and has been put on the market, the family remaining in Ballinakelly remember better times in the castle fondly and worry about what will become of it.
No-one wants to see the castle fall into the hands of strangers but none have the funds to buy it, let alone spend the time and money rebuilding.
The castle is purchased by a member of the English branch of the Deverill family; one who also shares fond memories of summers spent at the castle with the whole family getting together. It is a massive project and one that is met with mixed opinions; from within the family as well as without. Instead of being thrilled that the castle will remain in the family there is judgement and jealousy, though all are happy to converge at the end of renovations.
The Daughters of Castle Deverill is about the whole Deverill clan but there are some characters who get more of a starring role. Kitty Deverill lives in a house on the Castle Deverill property and has always done, she is the daughter of the heir to Castle Deverill who was left in the unfortunate position of putting it on the market. Her heart is broken at the thought of losing the place she loves most but as a daughter the castle would never have been her inheritance, it would have gone to her brother Harry who lives in England.
Celia Mayberry is one of the English Deverills and it is she, along with her husband, who have bought Castle Deverill and plan to restore it; though not to its former glory because Celia wants to make it even grander and more modern.
Martha is a young girl living in America who we spend a lot of time with, and it takes a while before we can fit her properly into the picture.
Bridie grew up at Castle Deverill and was close friends with both Kitty and Celia but something happened along the way and those days are long gone.
Daughters of Castle Deverill is a family saga full of drama, intrigue and suspense. It brings together beautifully drawn and complex characters that are before their time, out of time and a little bit exciting.
The narrative follows a host of different characters across England, Ireland and America to keep us in the loop of what’s happening with all our major players in the Deverill family dynasty. it also skips through time to keep us abreast of the events that brought the family curse into play. Being a saga it covers quite a few years, we begin in 1925 and go right through until 1938 as the world was beginning to prepare for another world war. We are taken through the Great Depression and the effect that had on the Deverill family fortune, as well as going back to understand a little more about how the family fortune was made.
Daughters of Castle Deverill has an epic and ambitious scope following a large family over many times and places but it completely drags you in with interesting characters, unusual situations and an awful lot of carry on outside of the marital bed.
I loved immersing myself in the Ireland of the early 20th Century and I look forward to what is to come for the Deverills in the third installment due in 2017. I will also be finding some time to go back to Songs of Love and War to find out what brought the Deverills through the war.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading Daughters of Castle Deverill so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments. I look forward to hearing what they think.