Book reviews: Daughters of Castle Deverill  by Santa Montefiore

Daughters of Castle Deverill bySanta Montefiore
Daughters of Castle Deverill bySanta Montefiore
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The queen of romance Santa Montefiore sweeps us away to the rugged coastal beauties of southern Ireland in the second book of her thrilling Deverill Chronicles.

The trilogy, which began with Songs of Love and War, returns to the West Cork village of Ballinakelly in the 1920s where the troubled Deverill family are desperate to rebuild both their lives and the magnificent house that was once the crowning glory of their grand estate.

At the heart of this compelling saga are three very different women all born in 1900 and all bound together by 17th century Castle Deverill, a house that is haunted by a 300-year-old curse and the ghosts locked within its now crumbling walls.

And this new chapter in the lives and loves of Kitty Deverill, her flamboyant English-born cousin Celia Deverill and Bridie Doyle, Kitty’s Irish lady’s maid, is packed with the same addictive blend of romance, drama, sensuality and Montefiore’s special brand of spiritual magic.

It is 1925, the world war is over and Ireland’s struggle for independence has been won, but for the Deverill family, much has been lost and life will never truly be the same again.

Castle Deverill, the cherished home built in 1662 by their forefather Barton Deverill and set near the white beaches, rocky cliffs and crashing waves of Ballinakelly Bay, is now a charred ruin inhabited only by the trapped ghosts of generations of her family after a disastrous and tragic fire.

Kitty, who has ‘the gift of sight,’ is now married and lives nearby in the White House but still grieves the loss of her friendship with Bridie, once her ‘spiritual sister,’ because of an unsolvable problem that makes reconciliation impossible.

Bridie has recently returned from America with more money she could ever have dreamed of… and a determination to take back the child she was forced to give up.

Meanwhile, Kitty’s flighty cousin Celia is determined to restore the wrecked castle to its former glory. Celia, who married well, has the wealth to buy the house and keep it in the family, and she cannot bear to see it stand neglected. But Kitty fears that ‘monsters from the past will be roused from sleep’ and dark shadows are gathering once more as the financial markets

start to shake. Everything that had felt so certain is thrown into doubt once again…

Beautifully written and full of Montefiore’s trademark insight and sensitivity, Daughters of Castle Deverill contains plenty of twists and turns as well as delivering an enthralling story of love, betrayal, passion and heartbreak.

Real history, a compelling cast of characters and Montefiore’s enviable gift for epic storytelling guarantees readers will already be counting down to the final instalment.

(Simon & Schuster, hardback, £14.99)