book reviews · NetGalley · Revell Reads

The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel

Theme Chatter

One theme prevalent in The Lady of Galway Manor was that characters made assumptions about others, which led to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. I’ve found in my own life that it’s much better to ask questions in order to learn about a person rather than assume I know them, which requires little to no effort in the short term but causes mountains of heartache in the long. Taking the time to get to know people seems to be more engaging and personable as well as less off-putting and hurtful.

In what ways do you think assumptions can wound?
How can asking questions and getting to know a person be healing?

Book Review

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. These are my honest thoughts.

This story was pretty charming.

I thought I wouldn’t like Paddy McGinnty, but he ended up growing on me so that he became one of my favorite characters. I really never did like Annabeth’s father, but his personality clashed completely with mine, so that was understandable and I didn’t hold that against him. Annabeth was great when she wasn’t insisting that people call her Anna—seriously, she spent a lot of time in the first third of the book making a big deal about how she wished everyone would just call her Anna. It’s no wonder the first third of the book felt sluggish to me. Seamus was amazing. I wish I could say more, but there aren’t really any words. He was just the sort of man I’d adore having as a father-in-law. Stephen was moody and unpredictable. I was never really sure if I liked that or not. At times, he felt bi-polar, but that wasn’t a part of his character, so it might have only been my perception of him. However, I came to adore him despite his hot-cold temperament.

I was disappointed to see that a key plot point had been bumped up two months, to take place in mid-July, compared to when it really happened back in September of 1920. Must history constantly be rewritten incorrectly? Why can’t we make our fictional timelines fit with the real timelines? This is a big pet peeve for me, as history is important to accurately learn from so that past mistakes mightn’t be repeated.

The theme of accepting people of different ethnic backgrounds was well written. It’s clear the author has a heart for healing humanity through her stories. I was very glad to see how Annabeth and Stephen learned life skills from one another and to appreciate each other even though they were from rival countries. This story can go a long way to patching up hurt feelings, if readers are open to its encouragements and advice.

The Irish dialect was used inconsistently. At times it was nonexistent, while sometimes it was too thick. More balance and consistency were needed. It also felt wasteful to repeat in English (especially within bits of dialogue) the meaning of the Irish words used, particularly since there was an Irish “dictionary” in the back, though some words in the story were omitted there.

A bit of feminism slipped in, but it ended up being a moot point. That made me wonder if it was simply tossed in for inclusion’s sake or if it was supposed to be part of the plot but was forgotten.

The Claddagh region was amazing to get a glimpse of, but I do wish that there had been another one or two scenes that took place there, to further develop Annabeth’s changing sensibilities.

Speaking of the Claddagh, the ring bearing the same name was used in spectacular fashion. This was absolutely my favorite thing about this story. I especially admired Annabeth’s take on it and the ways in which that was incorporated into the tale. So special!

Overall, this was an enjoyable, engaging story that prodded emotion from me, particularly in the waning chapters. Yep, that means I wept straight through them.

Content: tobacco, pubs, replacement profanity, replacement expletives, alcohol, gambling, one profane phrase

***

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