The Maid of Ballymacool [Book Review] #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance @RevellBooks #AustenProsePR #BlogTour

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.

The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel (cover) Image: head shot of a young woman superimposed over an Irish landscape

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction (1930s), Historical Romance, Ireland

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

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.

The Maid of Ballymacool Blog Tour Graphic (cover, dates)

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.

My Thoughts:

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.

Likable Characters

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)

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The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel (cover) Image: the headshot of a beautiful young woman superimposed over the irish countryside

More Information Here (isn’t the cover gorgeous?!)

Meet the Author of The Maid of Ballymacool, Jennifer Deibel

Author of The Maid of Ballymacool, Jennifer DeibelJennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher and freelance writer. Her work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic Magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona.


Is this Cinderella retelling on your TBR or have you read it?

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***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

I purchase or borrow from the li brary all books I review unless explicitly stated that the book is free (arc)

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  1. Based upon your review, I just put a hold on this book at the library!

    PS – I just finished reading “The Mountains Sing”, a historical saga set in Vietnam. As much as I loved it, I have a book hangover. I’ll be reading a couple of rom coms next! This book will be perfect in 8 days time.

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