The Ludlow Ladies' Society by Ann O' Loughlin
|The Ludlow Ladies' Society by Ann O' Loughlin|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: A young American woman inherits a house in Ireland and decides, on a whim, to move in. Will the house and the local community help her grieving heart to understand and forgive?|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: July 2017|
|Publisher: Black and White Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
The Ludlow Ladies' Society is the story of two women and their struggle to come to terms with the terrible tragedies in their lives. Connie Carter arrives at Ludlow Hall, a property she has inherited in Ireland, with no clue as to what to expect. The close-knit community are curious about The American, who seems to have no desire to integrate herself into the community. Nearby, lives Eve, a widow, who formerly lived at Ludlow Hall. She, too, has painful memories and scars that are slow to heal, but as she begins to form a friendship with the reclusive Connie, the two form a bond that will help them both face their grief together.
Eve is part of a community group called the Ludlow Ladies' Society and they come up with the idea of sewing 'memory quilts' to exhibit in an upcoming festival. Each quilt is made from patches of fabric that hold a special significance, or memory to someone. Eve soon gets to work creating a 'Ludlow quilt', made from the sumptuous fabrics of the fabulous gowns she wore as lady of the house. As the quilts take shape, memories come flooding back and the cathartic experience becomes a kind of therapy for those involved.
The book has a gentle, sedate pace and the focus is on friendship, sisterhood and relationships. Readers expecting an action-packed blockbuster may wish to go elsewhere. Although there are some hints of romance as the story goes along, the central theme is about the bond that Eve and Connie have and how they support each other through surprising and potentially devastating revelations and discoveries within the house itself.
As with many stories about old buildings, the house is a character in its own right and the descriptions of the hall and its grounds, and how they develop and change over the course of time is another central pillar of the story. The author really brought it to life.
There are quite a few twists and turns in the plot to keep readers engaged and we really do come to care about the characters and what happens to them. Although there is a lot of tragedy in the book, this is balanced by the lighter, humorous moments, which will have readers laughing one minute and reaching for a box of tissues the next. I thank the publisher for my review copy.
Bookbag also enjoyed Bhalla Strand by Sarah Maine, another story of a grand house with a personality of its own that holds many secrets.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ludlow Ladies' Society by Ann O' Loughlin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ludlow Ladies' Society by Ann O' Loughlin at Amazon.com.
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