About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel

The Maid of Ballymacool

Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.

When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.

Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.


Oh, how I loved this story! It's set in a place I've always wanted to visit and it reminded me of one of my favorite fairy tales! Brianna Kelly was a house servant, and I do mean servant, and her treatment was just as harsh as the treatment that Cinderella was given! Orphaned as a baby, she didn't know her true identity or why she was so disliked by the Headmistress at the Ballymacool House and Boarding school. Did this make her hateful and bitter? No, she may have long been searching for answers, but Brianna still managed to find happiness by slipping away to the woods or visiting a beloved older friend.

Author Jennifer Deibel shares a fascinating tale that is set on the Emerald Isle during the 1930s. Her descriptive powers helped me visualize the County Donegal, the Irish dialect was music to my ears, and I enjoyed the historical details that were woven into her plot. I also loved the well-developed characters who played such an important part in Brianna's search for answers. And then there's the romance! Who wouldn't love Michael Wray and the unexplained attachment that he feels for someone he hasn't met before? Or has he?

This captivating story kept me turning the pages to unravel the clues and discover the secrets. Brianna's moments of sadness and defeat are buffered by hope, forgiveness, and the lovely faith message woven into the romance and suspense. Well done, Ms. Deibel, I thoroughly enjoyed The Maid of Ballymacool!

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Jennifer Deibel is the bestselling and award-winning author of A Dance in Donegal and The Lady of Galway Manor. She’s also a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. 

You can visit her online at her Website 

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A Dance in Donegal

The Lady of Galway Manor

View all my reviews

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