In 1920, Annabeth De Lacy’s father is appointed landlord of Galway Parish in Ireland. Bored without all the trappings of the British Court, Annabeth convinces her father to arrange an apprenticeship for her with the Jennings family–descendants of the creator of the famed Claddagh Ring.
Stephen Jennings longs to do anything other than run his family’s jewelry shop. Having had his heart broken, he no longer believes in love and is weary of peddling the ÒliesÓ the Claddagh Ring promises.
Meanwhile, as the war for Irish independence gains strength, many locals resent the De Lacys and decide to take things into their own hands to display their displeasure. As events take a dangerous turn for Annabeth and her family, she and Stephen begin to see that perhaps the “other side” isn’t quite as barbaric and uncultured as they’d been led to believe–and that the bonds of friendship, love, and loyalty are only made stronger when put through the refiner’s fire.
Travel to the Emerald Isle for another poignant and romantic story from the enchanted pen of Jennifer Deibel.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own, and I am writing a voluntary review.
Annabeth De Lacy just wants to learn about Irish culture. The problem is that, as a member of the British aristocracy whose father was sent to be a landlord in Ireland during the 1920s, her presence is resented. Her father convinces a local jewelry maker to let her apprentice under him, finally allowing her the chance to learn about the people who are now her neighbors. The fact that said person is also young, handsome, and single is just an added benefit.
I enjoyed this book! As much as I read books based in England, I realized while reading this that I rarely read books about Ireland. It was fascinating to get this glimpse into their culture and history, and Jennifer did an excellent job recreating the Gaelic language and Irish accents. I also loved that the jewelry makers in question specialized in the iconic Claddagh designs, and so the story it was told as well. I had never heard about this style of jewelry before, and just a few days after finishing this book I was at a book club and one of the girls there was wearing a Claddagh ring, which really brought it to life for me.
I really only have two complaints about this book. First, it was really hard for me to place the time period that this book took place without being told that it was 1920. Everything may have been completely accurate (again, I’m not super familiar with Irish history), but I am familiar with this era and my initial guess at a time period was still in the 1800s. My second complaint is that there were some points where the characters felt a bit melodramatic. Stephen, especially, seemed a little over the top at times when it came to his disbelief in love and rejecting the notion that it was real.
Overall, this was an enjoyable historical romance with a fascinating glimpse into Ireland’s past.