Glenlea, County Armagh, Ireland 1905. When her family is torn apart by religious intolerance, personal tragedy, and explosive secrets, young Eileen O'Neill is determined to reclaim the Yellow House where her family had been happy and bring her broken family back home.
As war is declared on a local and global scale, Eileen cannot separate the politics from the personal impact of the conflict. Her choice is complicated by the influence of two men. James Conlon, a charismatic and passionate politcal activit is determined to win Irish independence from Great Britain at any cost, appeals to her warrior's soul.
But Eileen also finds herself drawn to Owen Sheridan, the wealthy and handsome black sheep of the pacifist family who owns the milll where she works, and who believes that peace can never be achieved through violence.
The choice that Eileen makes will change the course of all their lives and give her a true understanding of herself. Set in Ulster in the early 20th century, this novel brings to life the conflicts leading up to the birth of the border that divided the island of Ireland, and still exists today.
Joy Tipping from The Dallas Morning News reviews the book...
The book tells the first-person story of Eileen O'Neill, whom we first meet as a child in Ulster, the epicenter of the conflict between the British rule-supporting Protestants and the Home Rule-supporting Catholics. Eileen's idyllic childhood, set in the bright house of the book's title, comes apart when she loses, in quick succession, both parents and two of her siblings.
Left with her younger brother to care for, she goes to work in a linen factory, attracting the attention of the owner's son, Owen Sheridan, a gentle Quaker who gets drawn into the political upheaval when he becomes a British military officer.
Eileen also finds herself attracted to James Conlan, a rough man on the other side of the battle, whose fighting spirit appeals to her own warrior nature.
As the book progresses, and the animosities between the Protestants and the now fully formed Irish Republican Army grow ever bloodier, Eileen is continually split, with conflicts of love, lust, compassion and loyalty running roughshod over her soul. The early scenes of Eileen's and James' lawless exploits for the Catholic resistance make for thrilling reading, and her gradual realization that lust doesn't necessarily lead to long-lasting contentment is realistic and sad.
Falvey's research is flawless, and she perfectly balances the fictional story with the real-life characters and events that populate it.
Elsewhere on the net and more reasons to add this book to my reading list....
This novel delivers the best of both worlds: secrets, intrigue and surprising twists will keep readers flipping the pages, while Falvey's insight and poetic writing tugs at the heartstrings of the most cynical audiences.
bless their hearts mom blog
This novel definitely took me on a journey through a defining time in Northern Ireland -- and in fact, the creation of the country. The tension between the Protestants and Catholics is palpable and distressing. Having this violence occur in the shadow of World War I seems almost unbelievable and yet the history is undeniable.
We Be Reading.Com
Also a competition for US & Canadian readers @ We Be Reading.Com, a chance to win a brand new copy of the book (thanks to the publisher, Hachette Book Group) Just leave a comment before the end of day on Tuesday March 16 (be sure to include your e-mail address if it's not in your profile) and the winner will be chosen on St. Patrick's Day. Good Luck Folks!