The Secret of the Irish Castle

Written by Santa Montefiore
Review by Viviane Crystal

Ballinakelly is a beautiful village in Ireland, one where the Deverill and O’Leary families are victims of a curse that Maggie O’Leary had flung at the Count Deverill in the mid-1600s. Their own poor choices add to their miseries. Beginning in 1939, the action all takes place in the 20th century. Martha Wallace, an orphan, had returned to Ireland from America, determined to find her natural mother. What she discovered is devastating but is almost immediately eased by her falling in love at first sight with JP Deverill.

Birdie Doyle, a native of Ballinakelly, had married the Count di Marcantonio, a scoundrel who was undeserving of her unconditional love. Birdie and the Count now live in a home that has up to now always been known as the Deverill residence. The Deverill loss magnifies the hatred between the families. Jack O’Leary, a former rebel during the time of “the Troubles,” returns from prison and falls in love with Kitty Deverill, although both are married. Secrets and revelations add to the ever-changing conflicts. Then the first shattering discovery arises about JP, also an orphan. Martha returns to America in despair. All of these complicated relationships and more slowly unravel. Hearts are broken repeatedly, and the nature of “forgiveness” is tested but eventually holds true.

Santa Montefiore is a gifted writer who smoothly narrates a multifaceted story that is part mystery, part romance and part inspirational fiction, with a dash of Irish history. This highly recommended novel, third in the Deverill Chronicles series, will make the reader want to read other works by this talented author.