She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me
Oh no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning
That made me love Mary, the First Rose of Tralee
Book Blurb of The First Rose of Tralee
Mary O’Connor, beautiful daughter of the local shoemaker, dreams of a life beyond the hardship and poverty of Brogue Lane but must resign herself to life as a lowly kitchen maid.
William Pembroke Mulchinock, heir to West Villa, is obliged to let go of his dream of being a poet to run the family estate.
The Great Famine is about to grip the country, Daniel O’Connell is holding monster rallies, pushing for Repeal of the 1801 Union, and the young lovers are caught up in the politics of the time.
Can their love survive political turmoil and bridge the great divide between rich and poor?
Book Review of The First Rose of Tralee
A beautifully written historical novel based on the love story between Mary O’Conner and William Pembroke Mulchinock. The First Rose of Tralee is worth reading.
Mary was born in the family of a shoemaker who has seen his daughters future only as housewives, who don’t need an education but for what’s worse who have no right to be heard and who have to obey to the man’s will even if it’s against their wishes.
The chance given to the young girl to work in the West villa was an escape for her, an escape from her dad even though she has to work hard as a kitchen maid in the house of Mulchinock’s family. Her clever mind and hard work haven’t been unnoticed for long and she was offered the position of nursery maid. The access she has to the West villa upper levels due to her new job make it possible to meet William Pembroke the oldest son of the family.
William was obligated to run the family business in Tralee and return back from France where he was studying and writing. At heart he was a poet but as the oldest son of Mulchinock’s family he has duties that he cannot neglect.
Ireland in the early 19th century isn’t the country we know today. It was hard to marry out of your social class. The love between a maid and her master was doomed. But as we know there are no rules in love and William Pembroke fell in love with the beautiful shoemaker’s daughter. She was his muse who has inspired them to write the beautiful poem The Rose of Tralee.
I was drowned into the story at the very beginning. Patricia O’Reilly brought into life not only the characters but their lifestyle and background thanks to her researches into the life in Tralee back in the time and her talent to recreate the dialogues and thoughts of the main characters.
I would highly recommended The First Rose of Tralee if you are into the historical novels.