Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Yellow House

Patricia Falvey
Irish Books
Hachette Book Group
February 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59995-201-7
352 pages

Ireland is known for its longtime conflicts especially between its Catholics and Protestants as well as the Nationalists and the British. During the early 1900s, Eileen O’Neil grew up with loving parents in a family that managed to get by financially. When her little sister became ill, the family could not afford the needed care for her and were faced with the possibility of placing her in the Fever Hospital, which was essentially a poor house for the extremely ill to die. Eileen’s mother returned to her estranged home, to her wealthy father, to ask for help. He agreed with the condition that she leave her husband and move her family back into her childhood home. She refused. This defiance molded Eileen’s life.

In a few years, Eileen finds herself working at a clothing mill where she befriends Theresa Conlon. Her brother, James, who is studying for the priesthood is the center of their family. As Eileen marries him, she discovers what it means to be an Irish nationalist and a leader in the fight. She also begins to understand her own internal civil war with having people that she cares for on opposite sides.

The Yellow House is a historical romantic novel dealing with the early twentieth -century and going through the World War I. The story if fluid, the characters believable, and the real events are historically correct. For me, the story was enjoyable and enthralling until I figured out that this is a basic romance novel. The ending is a predictable romantic fairy tale with all the threads neatly tied up.

Patricia Falvey as a child lived in Northern Ireland and then moved to England. As a young adult she immigrated to the US and worked for the Job Corps. Eventually she enrolled at Suffolk University in Boston. She now resides in Dallas.

The Yellow House is wonderful romantic and historic adventure into the previous century in Ireland.

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