The further adventures of Lily: life as a maid in Lissadell House is always interesting, but with her friendship with Maeve under strain, a war in Europe starting and uncertainty about her future, she needs all her wits about her!
The further adventures of Lily: life as a maid in Lissadell House is always interesting, but with her friendship with Maeve under strain, a war in Europe starting and uncertainly about her future, she needs all her wits about her! This latest installment in the popular series also sees Lily finally on her way to realising her dream of becoming a teacher.
Nellie's older sister, Johanna, starts walking out with Harry the footman, and is extremely worried when he enlists and goes off to fight in World War I. He send letters to the girls from the front and tells them all about the Christmas Day truce in 1914 … but then a telegram comes. Harry is missing, presumed dead. Will he return to Lissadell, safe and sound?
Meanwhile, when Isabelle, the children’s nurse, becomes unwell Lady Mary asks Lily to work with the Michael and Hugh Gore Booth in the afternoons until they are ready to go away to boarding school. On a visit home, Lily meets the Master, who tells her that Miss O’Brien is courting a young man – and if she marries, there will be an opening for a Junior Assistant Mistress in the school. He assures her that her current level of education will be enough, and that once she is old enough, he’d be happy to appoint her.
FOR LILY STEPS UP:
No one writes friendship stories quite like Curtin and the historical details are fascinating ... Everyone needs a friend like Lily, kind, clever and tenacious, and in a difficult year, this book is like a warm hug
Given the Irish fascination with the opulence of the likes of Downton Abbey, Judi Curtin also strikes a careful balance in showing readers both sides of the social-class divide in early 20th Century Ireland …The reader has sympathy both for Lily, whose hopes of becoming a teacher are bound by her stricken circumstances, and Maeve, the poor little rich girl who envies Lily the warmth of her mother’s love, in contrast with the austerity of her lonely life in Lissadell while her own mother furthers the cause of Irish independence. Cork native Curtin, who in previous children’s novels has embarked on time travels to the Second World War and the sinking of the Titanic, provides further valuable insights here into Irish history during a time of seismic political and social change, by engaging her readers in a compelling story of friendship and hope
I am delighted to return Lily’s life at Lissadell. It’s beginning to feel like coming home. It is now 1914, and the story takes on the atmosphere of the changing times. The lovely, concise descriptive writing allows the reader to become immersed in the story. We know Lily well by now; clever, considerate, hardworking and creative; and we feel as if we are right there with Lily and her friends, pondering and experiencing these big events from afar; wondering what will become of the girls all and seeing the growth and changes they are going through as people. The strong sense of empathy and humour hasn’t left the story, and there’s always an episode of joy and excitement right round the bend; Lily’s sewing school, the Home Industries Show at Lissadell and Lily’s work teaching in the nursery for a time. There are some really lovely and surprising vignettes of social concern when Belgian refugees arrive in Sligo, escaping the War. (We seem to have forgotten about that…makes you want to know more, doesn’t it?) The heart and soul of the book is still friendship and it anchors every single page. Learning to trust, showing kindness, offering what talents and gifts you have to others. And never giving up on your dreams; you never know when they might come true. Beautiful historical fiction with a clear vision; gentle, heartfelt, warm and so very satisfying. I love it!
Set in Lissadell House in Sligo in 1914, this historical novel is narrated by a young housemaid, Lily, as she navigates her working life and rather tumultuous friendship with Maeve de Markievicz, daughter of the famous Countess. War has broken out and Lily’s friend, Harry, the footman at Lissadell, has just joined up. The narrative includes his letters from the trenches, a clever way of introducing the World War I plot strand to the book. Curtin is the queen of friendship tales for young readers and the history in the Lissadell series gives her charming books extra depth
A delightful book for fans of historical fiction, who can continue to follow the adventures of Lily, a young maid in the Big House. By blending fact and fiction, the author wonderfully evokes a time and place that makes the reader feel part of the world at Lissadell House and the historical events unfolding at the time, primarily the First World War and its effects on Ireland … an engaging and heartwarming read with underlying themes of friendship and class differences – a treat to savour.
we return to Lissadell House in 1914, just as World War II is starting, and life at the big house begins to change
Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Nicola Heaney
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