Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Linen Queen by Patricia Falvey Review

The Linen Queen: A NovelThe Linen Queen: A Novel by Patricia Falvey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sheila is an Irish beauty wasting her talents in a sewing factory in a small village. She longs to leave the village and live in England where she dreams of better opportunities and marriageable men. Her big break comes when her village hosts a beauty contest and she is crowned the Linen Queen, bestowing two hundred pounds upon the winner. However, her mother wants her money to be handed over while the Great War begins. She discovers that her beauty and money will not be enough to get out of Ireland.

Sheila's mother is a definitive bipolar personality with borderline tendencies. She has no redeeming qualities. Sheila's father abandoned them because he couldn't stand his wife's one dimensional personality. This makes him as shallow as she is. Sheila's best friend is Gavin, a moody, brooding lad who believes home is where the heart is and his heart is in his little village. Oh, and he's pinned it on his sleeve, too. He pines for Sheila.

New war, new blood. American soldiers arrive and Sheila takes a fancy to one of them. For interest sake, he's Jewish. There's the love triangle. Through Sheila's journey, she develops a heart of her own and discovers she's not as shallow as she used to be.

The story is not a grabber. The characters are entertaining but are simple and stereotypical. The writing is descriptive and paints a detailed picture for the reader. The history and politics are accurately portrayed and provides the reader with a sensory experience. If you are an Irish history buff, this is an excellent read. For me, it was a solid history book with minor characters. Solid writing talent. Established author.

4 comments:

Kara Helen said...

Hmmm... I hadn't heard of this one, but the cover is gorgeous. It's a little sad to hear that the book wasn't particularly thrilling. I like WWI history (especially when seen through the eyes of 'ordinary' people) so I'll probably pick this one up. Thanks for reviewing it.

Melissa Mc (Gerbera Daisy Diaries) said...

I still haven't read her first one!

Elizabeth said...

THANKS for the review...I have this in my stack to read.

Hmmmm...doesn't sound too exciting.


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Ms. Dawn said...

First two-thirds of the book, I thought, "Gotta read this book!"....last third of the book..."Nope!" Thank you so much for your review!