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The Linen Queen cover art

The Linen Queen

By: Patricia Falvey
Narrated by: Sarah-Jane Drummey
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Summary

Abandoned by her father and neglected by her self-centered, unstable mother, Sheila McGee cannot wait to escape the drudgery of her mill village life in Northern Ireland. Her classic Irish beauty helps her win the 1941 Linen Queen competition, and the prize money that goes with it finally gives her the opportunity she's been dreaming of. But Sheila does not count on the impact of the Belfast blitz which brings World War II to her doorstep. Now even her good looks are useless in the face of travel restrictions, and her earlier resolve is eroded by her ma's fear of being left alone.

When American troops set up base in her village, some see them as occupiers but Sheila sees them as saviors - one of them may be her ticket out. Despite objections from her childhood friend, Gavin O'Rourke, she sets her sights on an attractive Jewish-American army officer named Joel Solomon, but her plans are interrupted by the arrival of a street-wise young evacuee from Belfast.

Frustrated, Sheila fights to hold on to her dream but slowly her priorities change as the people of Northern Ireland put old divisions aside to fight the Germans. As the war moves steadily closer to those she has grown to love, Sheila confronts more abandonment and loss, and finds true strength, compassion, and a meaning for life outside of herself.

©2011 Patricia Falvey (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • kanga2012
  • 15-08-21

Pulls at your heartstrings.

I have loved and enjoyed each of Patricia Falvey’s books. Each one tells a story of difficult times in Ireland sharing heartfelt stories with historical detail. She never fails to deliver a passionate story. This one particularly was touching as we all know something of what happened on June 6, 1944 and now saw it from another side of the story than the one I had always heard from my history lessons. The character of Joel tugged at my heart and soul. I found myself thinking about who might have come into my life to be an angel and guide as Joel was to Shelia.
The narration was so perfect as she displayed all the emotions of each character so so well.