Jennifer Deibel’s debut novel, The Maid of Ballymacool, is a Christian historical mystery retelling of Cinderella. It was enchanting and captivating. I did not want to put it down. Anyone should enjoy this fascinating book.
Set in Ireland, this is the tale of Brianna Kelly, a sweet, hardworking maid. Since she was a wee girl she has worked at Ballymacool, a boarding school for girls. Her guardian, Maureen Magee, an older woman who runs Ballymacool, is never satisfied with Brianna’s work.
It is also the story of Michael Wray. He has been tasked to visit his wayward niece at Ballymacool in hopes of straightening out some issues. When he meets Brianna an immediate attraction is formed for both of them. He was a gallant man, and I loved his helpful spirit.
The author has a lovely way of writing. Her prose swept me off to Ireland where I met many new friends. The characters are realistic and well rounded. I wanted to have a “cuppa” with Brianna and chat for a while. The nanny and workers were charming while the villain was despicable.
The story contains a mystery that made me keep turning the pages. A twist or two kept things exciting. I was invested early in this unique retelling. Author Deibel is a masterful storyteller, and she knows how to keep readers engaged. Life and spiritual lessons are woven throughout this novel making it a complex and fulfilling read. I loved that many Irish expressions were used and that a glossary was provided to help decipher meanings.
I highly recommend this wonderful book. One can only hope this will be made into a movie one day. It is one of my favorite books, providing me with a new favorite author. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by NetGalley, but these are my honest words.