The Lady of Galway Manor By Jennifer Deibel

Annabeth DeLacy had led a sheltered, privileged life of the upper classes in England.  That quickly changed when her father, Lord Delacy was appointed landlord of a parish in Galway City, Ireland. It was 1920 The Irish War of Independence was looming on the horizon and there was much unrest. 

The only information she had about the Irish people was from her father’s prejudices; they were an uneducated, coarse, lazy and dishonest people, incapable of ruling themselves. While this did not color her attitude toward them, it did leave an impression.

She was not enamored with the genteel life and had no desire to stay tucked away in the mansion and play socialite.  She is surprised when her father agrees to her apprenticing to a local jewelry artesian Stephen Jennings. His family’s linage is from the creators of the famous Claddagh ring.  Stephen is a closed up bitter young man who had no clue his father had made the arrangement.  The daughter of an English Lord is the very last person he would want in his shop.  Unlike her class, Annabeth is down to earth, sympathetic and caring of others.  The mix of these two unlikely coworkers and people makes for some very interesting events that unfold.

I loved Annabeth’s innocence and sincerity.  Seeing the true condition of the poor Irish through the eyes by someone who had only known wealth was moving.  I could feel the shock, awe and compassion that touched her heart.  I also admired her character as no matter how distant or hateful Stephen was she always responded humbly and in kindness.

I think my favorite character was Stephen’s elderly father.  His joyfulness (in spite of any situation) sincere love and warmth toward everyone jumped off the pages and captured my heart.  I wanted to give him a hug!

I found Annabeth’s father and mother’s prideful arrogance aggravating.  How could they have raised such a sweet daughter?  It was easy to see the wealth and position they so valued was empty. 

Most of all I was fascinated by the Claddagh ring and its history! I had never heard of it until I read this book.  I immediately went to the internet to see what one looked like.  So beautiful!  It made me want one of course!

A strong faith is God is the golden thread that runs through this incredible story.  Once again Ms. Deibel paints a vivid picture of not only the characters, but the era and the struggles of those living in that time. An extraordinary book!   I can’t wait for her next one!

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