The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel
The Maid of Ballymacool is a re-imagining of the Cinderella tale featuring an evil headmaster, a swoon-worthy hero, and a castle-like school.
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction (1930s), Historical Romance, Ireland
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My Summary of The Maid of Ballymacool:
Welcome to my stop on the #AustenProsePr Blog Tour. Thanks #NetGalley @RevellBooks @AustenProse for a complimentary e ARC of #TheMaidOfBallymacool upon my request. All opinions are my own.
As an infant, Brianna was abandoned at the Ballymacool House and Boarding School. A young woman now, she is resigned to her difficult life of servitude and toil. Her happy place is exploring the grounds and storing secret treasures beneath the floorboard in her small room. One day, Michael’s family sends him to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin. He is immediately attracted to Brianna and devises ways to spend appropriate time with her. Something about her feels so familiar. When Briana finds a piece of silver in the woods, Michael helps her discover its origins. What they discover will change their lives forever.
Vibes of Cinderella + atmospheric and beautiful Ireland + a mystery + a fairy-tale hero + slow-burn romance = lots to love here!
The atmospheric and vividly described setting in Ireland enhances the reading experience!
Page-turning and Engaging
The possibility of romance, surviving and enduring hardship, and solving the mystery of the silver object work together to provide a page-turning read.
Brianna and Michael are likable, complex, and fascinating characters that I cheered for. Even though Brianna is a tenderhearted, kind, and optimistic girl who is at one with nature, she is also practical, hardworking, and determined. Michael is compassionate and sensitive and uses his position of privilege to make a difference in the lives of others. Brianna and Michael are from different classes and bridging the highly defined class system is an interesting aspect of the story.
Thoughtful themes include compassion, kindness, bullying, powerlessness, privilege, malice, abuse, jealousy, finding your identity, family, faith. standing up for others, rescue, trust, and difficult circumstances.
Recommending The Maid of Ballymacool
Do you love re-imaginings? I’m enthusiastically recommending this heartfelt, unique, and emotional re-telling of Cinderella for fans of the trope, for readers who love an against-the-odds story with a kindhearted hero, and for book clubs. Some readers, like myself, will appreciate the closed door, sweet romance and the absence of profanity.
Related: Another love story you might enjoy that has fairy tale vibes (Beauty and the Beast) is The Belle of Bellgrave.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5)
More Information Here (isn’t the cover gorgeous?!)
Meet the Author of The Maid of Ballymacool, Jennifer Deibel
Is this Cinderella retelling on your TBR or have you read it?
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