by Jennifer Deibel
All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother’s descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother’s wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.
After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira’s mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she’s journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends–and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced–as she seeks to navigate a life she’d never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.
This is a lovely debut story about the enchanting country of Ireland, back in the early 1900s.
Ireland is a country that has long been at the top of my ‘places I want to visit’ list, and I knew I’d have to read this one. Jennifer Deibel transports the reader to that beautiful, lush, green countryside so long ago. This novel contains vivid details of the land, and lots of interesting words and language, as well as culture, from those long ago days.
Moira was an intriguing heroine. She’d never been to Ireland, but was brave enough to go, simply because it was her dying mother’s wish for her. She went to a country of which she knew very little of, including their language, to teach young children in a school. Yes, it was quite the adventure!
The small Irish village was beautiful…but Moira quickly learned there was a lot more to Ballymann and its inhabitants than what met the eye. And what about the rumors that were circulating about her mother, which caused the people to treat her distantly? Moira was determined to get to the bottom of things and discover the truth of what really happened.
This story is captivating and enchanting, and will leave you with a bit more of a hunger to visit Ireland.
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