When she wins t Left behind by her seafaring father when he escapes his loveless marriage and emotionally abandoned by her selfish mother, Sheila McGee's life in the small Irish village that supports a spinning mill promises nothing but a dreary existence. Sheila worked in the linen mill after having left school early to support herself and her mother. Patricia Falvey is an Irish-born writer living in Dallas, Texas. For one thing, there was still enough antipathy towards England that a lot of men weren't that keen on fighting what they considered England's war. The full scope of the war unfolds through the eyes of Sheila McGee, a mill girl who's grown up with a mercurial mother and an absent father.
I had already gotten it out at the library however, and thought I'd give it a try. How were you going to meet a chap locked away in that convent school? Things get complicated when a young evacuee from the red light district of Belfast is taken in at their home as a ward. The soldier and the local boy stick by Sheila even when it could mean they both could get hurt or worse. The reader is thrown a few crumbs about the linen industry, some wallpaper if you will, since the main character works in a linen mill. Although I could understand why because she was a selfish and naive person when we first meet her , I felt I became rather irritated by the continued attack on her character. Her da was disabled and her ma had taken the consumption after years working in the weaving shed.
The writing is descriptive and paints a detailed picture for the reader. Sheila's mother takes all her earnings leaving Sheila with nothing. As the war moves steadily closer to those she has grown to love, Sheila will not only confront more abandonment and loss, but also find true strength, compassion, and a meaning for her life outside of herself. Anyone who can write a story like that is on my must read list and I will certainly be looking for more from her in the future. When she is chosen as a contestant This week I read The Linen Queen by Patricia Falvey. Maintaining the Northern Ireland setting and The Linen Queen: A Novel - Kindle edition by Patricia Falvey.
She desperately wants to leave Ireland for England. The novel has an unexpected depth to it that makes it more than a simple love story and ode to the beauty that is Norther Ireland. We all turned towards the door as Mrs. About the Author Patricia Falvey was born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland. A most enjoyable read, to say the least.
I pushed the thought aside. It was a welcome and enjoyable distraction. The Free State, is a neutral country and with anti-British passions and bitterness running extremely high, more sympathetic to the axis powers than the cause of the Allies. Falvey's first book was The Yellow House and is an excellent book. The annual Linen Queen competition may be her last and only chance to leave and when she unexpectedly wins the competition things begin to look up.
Of course, it's also said not to look further than your own backyard. Sheila's affection for Joel grows as she and Gavin are driven farther apart. She did stand up for what she believed in and protected those that she loved, but her relationships with Gavin and Joel drove me nuts! However, she never lost sight of her dream of becoming a published author and in 2008 walked away from her old career to give her dream a chance. Now even her good looks are useless in the face of travel restrictions, and her earlier resolve is eroded by her ma's fear of being left alone. And me not a well woman. Sheila McGee, whose father died at sea and whose mother battles what appears to be bipolar disorder, hopes to become the Linen Queen so that she can escape her difficult life working in the mills.
Despite objections from her childhood friend, Gavin O'Rourke, she sets her sights on an attractive Jewish-American army officer named Joel Solomon, but her plans are interrupted by the arrival of a street-wise young evacuee from Belfast. So what do all these books have in common, you might ask? My attitude could be better I knew, but it was hard to smile all the time when you hated the mill as much as I did. Grainne is billeted in Sheila's aunt and uncle's home, and Sheila quickly becomes attached to Grainne. Sheila does win the competition but is unable to flee as the war with Germany has come close to home, in Belfast in fact. Instead, she finds herself falling for him.
Winning the title of Linen Queen doesn't just validate her self-confidence; the prize money provides the funds to get away. If you're going to be unlikeable, at least be funny or charming while you are doing it. She goes out to dances and to the pub seeking the attention of one of the American soldiers. You want to cheer for Shelia when she wins the pageant, because now she can escape her desolute life, but really, when there is a war, is any particular place better than the other? Confident and aware of her good looks, she hopes to be chosen as the Linen Queen so she can get her chance on the prize money Scraping by on a linen worker's wages is not the kind of life that Sheila plans on living for much longer. I also found some of the characters names confusing as a couple were quite similar.
She wants to see the world beyond Ireland. She lives a miserable existence with her crazy, unstable mother in her pious aunt and alcoholic uncle's home. Despite objections from her childhood friend, Gavin O'Rourke, she sets her sights on an attractive Jewish-American army officer named Joel Solomon, but her plans are interrupted by the arrival of a street-wise young evacuee from Belfast. Even though I didn't love it, I didn't hate it either. Her story begins on the cusp of the second World War in a small village in Northern Ireland. As the war years continue, Sheila matures and she slowly begins to realize what is truly important in life. Deferred but still determined, Sheila continues to look for a means of escape, and finds it in the arrival of American troops who set up base in her home town.