Monday, March 13, 2023

THE MAID OF BALLYMACOOL by Jennifer Deibel, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Child, there's more to your story than ye could ever know."

More to her story? If you were to ask Brianna, her story was rather short and simple. Orphaned as an infant, dropped off in a basket at Maureen Magee's front door, assigned the role of a house servant at the Ballymacool House and Boarding School for Girls as soon as she was old enough to contribute to the needs of the household, Brianna worked nearly night and day handling endless tasks with little time to dawdle. And yet . . . was there an "and yet"?

Michael Wray, a local gentleman, arrives at Ballymacool to aid in the oversight of his young cousin, whose unladylike behavior has caused quite a stir among her fellow students. On the other hand, his encounters with the lovely housemaid are surprisingly refreshing, Brianna has a certain charm about her, coupled with a hint of something else . . . familiarity? It's obvious how terribly Mistress Magee is treating the young woman, but for what reason? Michael has many questions for which there seem to be very few answers.
This politely predictable story has a certain allure about it that even its "cinderella" setting cannot deny is appealing. The author has written in just enough intrigue (for who doesn't love a good secret) to keep the reader tip-toeing around the pages, eagerly awaiting the next clue. As it turns out, that "more to the story" could be a fairy tale all its own.

"Just remember, tis no secret that's known to three."
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher and also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

BackCover Blurb:

Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.

When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.

Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.

Revell Publishing, February 21, 2023 
Available in digital ebook, hardcover, and audiobook


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