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County Kilkenny, 1900. Erin Maguire is a young, fiercely ambitious girl born into poverty. The illegitimate daughter of Lord Sanders' brother-in-law, she was the result of a painful love affair that her mother had as a young maid working at Callacrea House. Erin's childhood is a struggle. Her mother is abused by Dermot, her hard-drinking husband, and prays for a different life for her beloved daughter. When Erin meets Kell Sanders, the charming, handsome son of Lord Sanders, she finds herself falling in love. He encourages her dreams for the future - to sing on the stage in London. But will history repeat itself before she is able to fulfil her ambition?
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Janet is an Australian, who was born and raised in Dorset, UK. Happily married since her late teens, she and her husband migrated to Australia with the first two of her family of five, after her husband finished his term in the Royal Navy.From Booklist:
Erin Maguire is born into poverty on the Irish estate of the English Lord Sanders. Her mother has an ill-fated affair with the brother-in-law of the lord, and when she becomes pregnant, she is married to the harsh estate foreman who abuses Erin and her mother. Despite her hard life, Erin is kindly regarded by Lord Sanders' children, Kell and Catherine, and she clings to her burning desire to sing on the London stage. When her mother dies and her father is arrested, she becomes a maid in Lord Sanders' house. Then, at the start of World War I, Kell returns to Ireland. Erin falls for the young lord and is devastated when he enlists, leaving her fearful that she is fated to be like her mother, pining for a lost love. Woods' enchanting story is filled with multidimensional characters and provides readers a poignant glimpse into the class-ordained hardships of Edwardian society. Patty Engelmann
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