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Summary

West Cork, Ireland, 1900. The year marks the start of a new century and the birth of three very different women: Kitty Deverill, the flame-haired Anglo-Irish daughter of the castle; Bridie Doyle, the daughter of the Irish cook; and Celia Deverill, Kitty's flamboyant English cousin. Together they grow up on the dreamy grounds of the family's grand estate, Castle Deverill. Yet their peaceful way of life will soon be threatened by Ireland's struggle for independence.

©2015 Santa Montefiore (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Nobody does epic romance like Santa Montefiore. Everything she writes, she writes from the heart." (Jojo Moyes)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    89
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    41
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    15
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    8
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    3

Performance

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    90
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    28
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    13
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    5
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    6

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    37
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • STANFORD LE HOPE, United Kingdom
  • 19-05-16

Furious!

Disappointing end. How could the writer not finish the story. I felt I had wasted all these hours of listening. Absolutely furious!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, but disappointed end.

I thought the narrator was excellent, and enjoyed the story up until the last chapter. It was if the author just got fed up with it, and wanted to be finished. Twice I rewound the story, thinking I must have missed a chapter, but no. Very unsatisfactory.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • G
  • 25-05-16

Disappointing ending

What did you like most about Songs of Love and War?

I love the era it portrayed and the book showed the difference between the rich Anglo-Irish and the Irish people. I liked the bit of history it portrayed without going into it in depth and enjoyed the romantic story very much.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kitty because she was a very strong character and with a great love of Ireland

What does Genevieve Swallow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She has a beautiful voice and read the different characters very well. She made you picture the scenery and characters very well which I may not have done so well if reading it.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Well, I did particularly during the Kitty/Jack love story and was feeling very upset for Bridie when the book just finished

Any additional comments?

This was a lovely story with many good characters. However, it was a long one but the ending was a complete let down - as someone else said, it was as though the writer got fed up with it. Now we may never know what happened unless there is a sequel but I'm not sure I could trust the author enough to waste 17 hours of listening time in case the same thing happens

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Narration pretty distracting

The narration in an audiobook is crucial - this is simply terrible - the accents are dreadful / the intonation of the characters often bears no resemblance to the text, possibly the worse I've ever encountered. As for the Irish accents , bad bad bad

Other than that a predictable and somewhat laboured story

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha
  • Bridgwater, United Kingdom
  • 02-06-16

Disappointing end

If you could sum up Songs of Love and War in three words, what would they be?

Disappointing, well read and enjoyable

What did you like best about this story?

Loved the story and how it detailed the lives of all the different characters

Which character – as performed by Genevieve Swallow – was your favourite?

Kitty and Jack

Any additional comments?

As with all the other reviews the ending was just awful, i agree with the comment that the writer must have got bored and ended it far too early. Stories of the characters not wound up properly.... Maybe she will write a second book?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed and Confused

I'm sure the author got as bored as I was by the end and decided just to give up. There is no end to this book. I was sure I'd missed a couple of chapters and kept going back....but alas nothing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I loved the structure

Review: this was very different to my usual reading material. Although I have read a few of Santa Montefiore's books previously, none of them have been quite as 'historical' as this one and so I have to admit I struggled to get into this one a little initially. I think that the thing I struggled with the most was keeping track of who all the characters were and how they related together. The structure of the books was that it was divvied into 3 parts. There was also a prologue and a epilogue. I loved the structure of the book and my favourite part, the part that had me really gripped was the third part. I felt, by this point that I had got to knew the characters and really invested in them so from this pint onwards I couldn't stop listening to it!

The characters were an interesting mix of English and Irish during the time when English weren't really welcome in Ireland and it was a fairly dangerous place to be. We also has a mix of the right families and their servants. These characters went through so much drama and created so much drama, I can't really single any one character out as a favourite. I really liked the journey that maid Bridie went on. I won't give away any spoilers but I'm sure you'll be championing her from the start!

Of course the setting description in this one was beautiful. The description of the Irish landscape is just breathtaking. Some of the book is set in New York and I could totally picture the scenes as Monterfiore was describing them. There are also so bits set in England and I think that this author really captures the mood at the time in her descriptions. As I say, this book was quite different for me. I enjoyed it overall. I have it in paperback but actually listened to it in audiobook. I'd really quite like the chance to go back to beginning of the book and read the first couple of chapters because the epilogue takes the book full circle, if you read it I would really recommend flicking back to the beginning after you're done!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved It

The narrator excellent. Please another book to continue the story. Didn't want it to finish. I have read many of Santa Montefiero 's books and really enjoyed them. Looking forward to the next new one.

,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Escapism

Loved this family story against the backdrop of the Irish conflict. Found it easy to listen to and all the characters were strong and believable and their relationships interesting. Found the storyline flowed well. It was an enjoyable romantic story and the irish conflict and how it affected the characters was interesting. Love Santa Montefiore's books and this one did not disappoint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs
  • Sidmouth, United Kingdom
  • 13-06-16

Santa Montefiore doesn't disappoint

Would you consider the audio edition of Songs of Love and War to be better than the print version?

Can't comment - have only heard the audio version

What did you like best about this story?

Kitty's integrity, despite her adultery

Which character – as performed by Genevieve Swallow – was your favourite?

Kitty

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but don't have that sort of time

Any additional comments?

An audio book always succeeds or falls by its narration. I found this narrator very easy to listen to and she did not detract from the story in any way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne Renaud
  • 23-02-18

Fabulous

Would you listen to Songs of Love and War again? Why?

Yes - still do. The characters are so believable and the story line intrigueing.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kitty - she was the main character and loved how she viewed her life

What about Genevieve Swallow’s performance did you like?

She was just amazing! Her variations of accents and how she read the story was captivating.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes - but as it was a bit long I wasn't able to!

Any additional comments?

I LOVED the three books in this trilogy - think Santa has spoilt me as I cant seem to find any others as good - so keep listening to them again and again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful