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The Yellow House: A Novel

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Overview

THE YELLOW HOUSE delves into the passion and politics of Northern Ireland at the beginning of the 20th Century. Eileen O'Neill's family is torn apart by religious intolerance and secrets from the past. Determined to reclaim her ancestral home and reunite her family, Eileen begins working at the local mill, saving her money and holding fast to her dream. As war is declared on a local and global scale, Eileen cannot separate the politics from the very personal impact the conflict ...

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The Yellow House: A Novel

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Overview

THE YELLOW HOUSE delves into the passion and politics of Northern Ireland at the beginning of the 20th Century. Eileen O'Neill's family is torn apart by religious intolerance and secrets from the past. Determined to reclaim her ancestral home and reunite her family, Eileen begins working at the local mill, saving her money and holding fast to her dream. As war is declared on a local and global scale, Eileen cannot separate the politics from the very personal impact the conflict has had on her own life.

She is soon torn between two men, each drawing her to one extreme. One is a charismatic and passionate political activist determined to win Irish independence from Great Britain at any cost, who appeals to her warrior's soul. The other is the wealthy and handsome black sheep of the pacifist family who owns the mill where she works, and whose persistent attention becomes impossible for her to ignore.

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Editorial Reviews

Mary Pat Kelly
"Patricia Falvey draws on her North of Ireland roots to put a human face on the turning point in 20th century Irish history. A moving novel and singular achievement."
Morgan Llywelyn
"Intelligently plotted, with engaging characters, the novel offers a fresh view of the highly dramatic Revolutionary Period in Ireland. The well-researched history illumines but never smothers the storyline. Small details bring the era to life with stunning clarity. The writing is lucid and accessible, occasionally even lyrical. This is a very rewarding first novel and I look forward to reading more from Patricia Falvey."
Robert Hicks
"THE YELLOW HOUSE is an eloquently written story of the emergence of hope and love in a time of struggle and confusion in Ireland. It avoids the ever-present pitfalls of drowning us in a history lesson while not ignoring the richness of that very history. With her debut novel, Patricia Falvey breathes life back into an Ireland that has nearly vanished from memory. For that, I am grateful."
Frank West - Irish American News
"...You can often tell where a book's plot and characters are going. But so many times I was astonished to find that what I expected on the next page was a complete surprise. Falvey held my attention with suspenseful events that constantly amazed me...THE YELLOW HOUSE is a powerful book, full of strongly drawn characters that exemplify vitality, humanity, and passion for life. They are so realistic, I felt like I knew them."
Cecie O'Bryon England - The Washington Times
"The Yellow House was extremely interesting from an educational perspective. It brings to life the struggles of individuals and communities seeking freedom.
The Review Broads on The Yellow House
"If you like historical fiction, with great flourishes of families destroyed and remade, this is a classic."
Kathy Piehl
"...Falvey tells a good story along the way. A host of interesting characters, surprising but plausible plot developments, and deftly incorporated details of the Irish struggle for independence add up to a debut novel sure to please fans of historical romance."
Sacremento Book Review and San Francisco Book Review
"...Falvey very successfully weaves together the politics, history, and landscape of Ireland in this period...Falvey brilliantly illustrates the cultural, political, and economic conflicts that result in erecting Ireland's North/South dividing border. The well-researched history of the period emerges through the characters, their conflicts, and their choices. The story is absorbing and satisfying historical fiction."
Joy Tipping
"The early scenes of Eileen's and James' lawless exploits for the Catholic resistance make for thrilling reading....The book serves as a provacative reminder of the tangled strings of family, war and familial war, and also...as a spendid example of old-fashioned, minimal-bodice-ripping romance."
Andrea Sisco
"The characters are full, rich and real and the history of Ireland feels authentic. The author refrains from delineating clearly between the good guys and bad guys. She allows the reader to make their own decisions and I liked that. The Yellow House is a winner. I just can't shake the memory of it and that's a good thing.
Stiletto Storytime
"[O]ne of the best historical fiction novels I have read in years. . . . I simply could not pull myself away from this book. It took me back to classics such as Gaskell's North and South and the heroine Eileen had so many of the qualities that I have always loved in dear Tess of Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles. When one book can bring me back to two of my favorite books of all time that are both absolute classics, I am in awe. This book kept me emotionally invested until the very end. . . . Wonderfully written, magically created, it could only come from a true Irish lass and to be her debut novel. . . .amazing. I loved it . . . every page."
Irish America
"It is rare for a first-time novelist to tackle historical events in as refreshing a manner as Patricia Falvey does in The Yellow House....Falvey controls the story....Take your time reading The Yellow House, you'll be sad to see the last page."
Historical Novels Review
"Set in the tumultuous years before and after World War I, The Yellow House is an impressive debut that will appeal to readers of Irish family sagas. Falvey skillfully takes major events and reduces them to a personal level, focusing on the effects of World War I and religious unrest in Ireland on one woman and the people around her."
From the Publisher
"Patricia Falvey draws on her North of Ireland roots to put a human face on the turning point in 20th century Irish history. A moving novel and singular achievement."—Mary Pat Kelly, author of Galway Bay, on THE YELLOW HOUSE

"Intelligently plotted, with engaging characters, the novel offers a fresh view of the highly dramatic Revolutionary Period in Ireland. The well-researched history illumines but never smothers the storyline. Small details bring the era to life with stunning clarity. The writing is lucid and accessible, occasionally even lyrical. This is a very rewarding first novel and I look forward to reading more from Patricia Falvey."—Morgan Llywelyn, author of Lion of Ireland, Pride of Lions, Grania, The Last Prince of Ireland, and The Irish Country series on THE YELLOW HOUSE

"THE YELLOW HOUSE is an eloquently written story of the emergence of hope and love in a time of struggle and confusion in Ireland. It avoids the ever-present pitfalls of drowning us in a history lesson while not ignoring the richness of that very history. With her debut novel, Patricia Falvey breathes life back into an Ireland that has nearly vanished from memory. For that, I am grateful."—Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country

"...You can often tell where a book's plot and characters are going. But so many times I was astonished to find that what I expected on the next page was a complete surprise. Falvey held my attention with suspenseful events that constantly amazed me...THE YELLOW HOUSE is a powerful book, full of strongly drawn characters that exemplify vitality, humanity, and passion for life. They are so realistic, I felt like I knew them."—Frank West, Irish American News

"This novel delivers the best of both worlds: secrets, intrigue and surprising twists will keep readers flipping the pages, while Falvey's insight and poetic writing tugs at the heartstrings of the most cynical audiences."—Publishers Weekly on THE YELLOW HOUSE

The Yellow House was extremely interesting from an educational perspective. It brings to life the struggles of individuals and communities seeking freedom.—Cecie O'Bryon England, The Washington Times

"If you like historical fiction, with great flourishes of families destroyed and remade, this is a classic."—The Review Broads on The Yellow House

"...Falvey tells a good story along the way. A host of interesting characters, surprising but plausible plot developments, and deftly incorporated details of the Irish struggle for independence add up to a debut novel sure to please fans of historical romance."—Kathy Piehl, Library Journal on The Yellow House

"...Falvey very successfully weaves together the politics, history, and landscape of Ireland in this period...Falvey brilliantly illustrates the cultural, political, and economic conflicts that result in erecting Ireland's North/South dividing border. The well-researched history of the period emerges through the characters, their conflicts, and their choices. The story is absorbing and satisfying historical fiction."—Sacremento Book Review and San Francisco Book Review, February 2010 on The Yellow House

"The early scenes of Eileen's and James' lawless exploits for the Catholic resistance make for thrilling reading....The book serves as a provacative reminder of the tangled strings of family, war and familial war, and also...as a spendid example of old-fashioned, minimal-bodice-ripping romance."—Joy Tipping, The Dallas Morning News, February 14, 2010 on The Yellow House"The characters are full, rich and real and the history of Ireland feels authentic. The author refrains from delineating clearly between the good guys and bad guys. She allows the reader to make their own decisions and I liked that. The Yellow House is a winner. I just can't shake the memory of it and that's a good thing.—Andrea Sisco, Minneapolis Insight Examiner, March 2, 2010

"[O]ne of the best historical fiction novels I have read in years. . . . I simply could not pull myself away from this book. It took me back to classics such as Gaskell's North and South and the heroine Eileen had so many of the qualities that I have always loved in dear Tess of Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles. When one book can bring me back to two of my favorite books of all time that are both absolute classics, I am in awe. This book kept me emotionally invested until the very end. . . . Wonderfully written, magically created, it could only come from a true Irish lass and to be her debut novel. . . .amazing. I loved it . . . every page."—Stiletto Storytime, March 14, 2010 on The Yellow House

"It is rare for a first-time novelist to tackle historical events in as refreshing a manner as Patricia Falvey does in The Yellow House....Falvey controls the story....Take your time reading The Yellow House, you'll be sad to see the last page."—Irish America, June/July 2010

"Set in the tumultuous years before and after World War I, The Yellow House is an impressive debut that will appeal to readers of Irish family sagas. Falvey skillfully takes major events and reduces them to a personal level, focusing on the effects of World War I and religious unrest in Ireland on one woman and the people around her."—Historical Novels Review, May 2010

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599952024
  • Publisher: Center Street
  • Publication date: 2/7/2011
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 153,783
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Falvey

Patricia Falvey was born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland. She was raised in Northern Ireland and England before immigrating alone to the United States at the age of twenty. Until recently, she served as a Managing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC, where she led a national tax consulting practice.
Over the years she participated in numerous writing seminars, and in June of 2007, Patricia finally made the decision to leave her position with PWC at the pinnacle of her career and devote herself full time to her first love - writing. THE YELLOW HOUSE is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 58 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 18, 2010

    This is an amazing book.

    Synopsis:

    Set in Northern Ireland in the early 1900s, the story of The Yellow House centers around Eileen O'Neill as she grows up during a turbulent time in Ireland's history. Spanning 20 years, the story picks up during her childhood, as the family falls into poverty and tragedy sets the tone for Eileen's struggles. Working in a mill, in dangerous conditions, she saves her money and dreams of reuniting her family in the home of her childhood, hoping to bring back happier times.

    Along the way, she finds herself torn between two men, and torn by her own will and the will of others. Her family history and the current political landscape shape Eileen's journey, and secrets and betrayals leave their mark.

    Analysis:

    There are books that help you to pass the time, that entertain you, and that allow you to escape your ordinary life. Then, there are books that touch your soul. These books seep into your heart and your mind, so that, upon dragging yourself from its depths, you are surprised to find yourself in your own familiar surroundings. The Yellow House is such a book.

    Falvey's gift to the reader is her rich, descriptive language. The setting of this book, Ulster, a province located in northern Ireland, is lavishly painted throughout the book. The characters come to life, vibrant and flawed, clinging to dreams and hopes. Falvey uses historic events to provide a dynamic and turbulent backdrop for the characters' stories and personalities to unfold. We see the affect of love and loss, of war and fighting, of betrayal and hatred, each in varying forms and degress, on the human spirit. Eileen, in particular, is molded and shaped through the storm of war and prejudice that engulfs her life. From starry-eyed child to wary, and weary, adult, Eileen's journey is a hard one.

    Falvey takes us on that journey, perhaps to show us that Eileen's tenacity and fire is vital to her survival, and to encourage us to remember that in our own journeys. We love with Eileen, we cry with her as she suffers loss and humiliation. We feel indignation on her behalf over the injustices she bears, and cringe at her fiery temper. We worry as we foresee possible repercussions of her actions and decisions, and we hope that all will right itself in the end. And in the end, we the reader leave this book remembering what it means to hope and to sacrifice. Falvey teaches us that living for a dream can sustain us through the toughest of days, and that a dream gives us a reason to keep fighting.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    THIS BOOK HAS IT ALL!!!

    I was carried away in this book, which of course is a good thing. The Yellow House moves swiftly and smoothly. Patricia Falvey is a Master Storyteller. I am already looking forward to her next book. I highly recommend this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "Your heart holds on to dreams long after your head tells you they're foolish."

    Occasionally an epic story comes along that makes the reader cry at the end of the novel. I am that reader, and The Yellow House is that novel. Spanning the early twentieth century, set in Northern Ireland during the time of the Irish revolution, we follow Eileen O'Neill, warrior, daughter, and sister as she slowly loses everything she loves but learns to rise again. Growing up at the base of her beloved mountain, Slieve Gullion, Eileen knows the terrors she dreams at night do not bode well for her family. When her younger sister dies of Scarlet Fever, her mother loses her mind in grief. When her Catholic father is killed defending their Yellow House from Protestant uprisers, Eileen must survive or perish in sadness. She stands upright as an O'Neill warrior and takes life by the horns.

    Growing up in Ireland in the tumultuous 1900s, Eileen O'Neill joins the Cause for the rights of Catholics and all Irish citizens. In 1913 she takes a job working for the Quaker family, the Sheridans, at their mill in Queensbrook; she also takes up the fiddle, following in her father's footsteps, and it is through these two positions that she meets Owen Sheridan, handsome, privileged, charming, rakish, and safe. When Owen goes to fight in World War 1 Eileen is left confused about her burgeoning feelings, not having ever loved, she doesn't know about Owen. And then she meets James; dark, dangerous, impassioned for the Cause, fighting for his beliefs, for freedom from persecution, for a better Ireland, and she falls for him.

    Torn between her inner warrior and her outer womanhood, enveloped in a lost family and heritage, dreaming of the Yellow House and her beloved Slieve Guillion, Eileen is a girl who grows to a woman before our eyes, who marches from the ashes of her childhood and raises her arms in defiance. Trapped between two men, Eileen finds herself.

    The Yellow House is a captivating debut, bountiful and beautifully written. The beginning trudges along, but Eileen will capture you quickly after. Her story will make you smile, make your heart pump, make your breath quicken, make you cry. You will hope for the best, and fear for the worst. You will laugh at Eileen and her anger and feistiness, she has a sailor's mouth and the temper to go with it. You will feel her heartbreak and her desire, you will know her anguish and rapturous delight, you will relate to her because she is the warrior in all of us. You will love Eileen, and you will love The Yellow House.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2010

    Lyrcial Historical IRISH Novel of family, love and war

    I LOVE this book! Set in Northern Ireland in the early 20th century, The Yellow House is the story of Eileen O'Neill, a young woman who, in the face of violence, loss and hardship, persists in her dream of one day reuniting her broken family. Torn between her loyalty to the cause of Irish freedom, and her love for a Quaker pacifist, Eileen must find the courage to make the choice that will shape her future.

    For years, Eileen labors in horrid conditions in a mill while saving her money to purchase the home her family lost. She holds on to her father's tales of their ancestor's victories against the British. He's convinced her of her warrior legacy which plays right into the appeal of the fight for Irish independence from Great Britain. The movement of Home Rule would give Ireland its own parliament within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Irish Protestants, particularly those in Ulster where Eileen lives, oppose Home Rule. When the Roman Catholics of the south proclaim an independent Irish Republic, Eileen joins the Irish Volunteers as a to rebel fight for Irish freedom.

    Her warrior legacy and her intuitive wisdom conflict, in her love affair with Owen Sheridan, a Quaker, as she seeks her dream to recapture the Yellow House and reunite her family. Great BOOK CLUB Reading!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Liked the book, Loved the history, Eileen--so,so

    I really liked the book. I much better understood the troubles in Ireland and very much enjoyed that part of it, as I am traveling there this summer. I liked all of the characters as a whole, especially Owen Sheridan! Eileen was a bit too high strung for me. She was definately a woman before her time, but too strong for her own good at times. A strong woman is one that can take care of herself against man and world, but not so proud she can't accept love and help! Owen was the father of her second child, she deserved his help, should have demanded he support the child! She certainly expected her husband to support her and her first daughter. That didn't make sense to me?? Didn't like that side of her! Wish we could have been told in the epilogue whether or not her and Owen married and lived happily ever after...I felt we deserved that information after all of the trials and tribulations we plowed through with this woman. Great writing style an easy read! Look foward to books from this author in the future!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Serendipity

    Once you hear the story about how this novel began its journey, you are intrigued. You want to know more and can not put the book down.[ I was so taken in by the book that I read it in one sitting] The political and emotional torment of the central character evokes a passion for living.

    This novel also gave me a new perspective on the struggle in Ireland between the parties, the religious groups and two countries.


    I have recommended this book to many of my "reading" friends. And I look forward expectantly to Patricia Falvey's next novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2014

    Great read!

    Really loved this book! It was on my NOOK for quite some time and I wished I had read it sooner! It gave me a better understanding of what happened in Ireland and it really makes me want to visit the land of my ancestors. I am looking forward to "The Linen Queen" and everything else by this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Good, fast read.

    If you like historical fiction, this is a good one. Can be predictable at times, but I still found it easy to enjoy the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    I haven't read this author before and thought it was quite a goo

    I haven't read this author before and thought it was quite a good read. the only objection is there are quite a few sub plots would have preferred that she kept to the story line.

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    Unusual story from Northern Ireland

    I much enjoyed this historical fiction about the Troubles in Ulstter during the beginning of the past century. Eileen was a like able and admirable character. I learned a lot while being thoroughly entertained.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Shadowmist

    May i join as a aprentice assassian?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Duskfang

    I hear your an assassin. I could use someone like you.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Yellowstripe

    Ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Really??? Must you people tell the whole book in your reviews???

    Really??? Must you people tell the whole book in your reviews???? a simple...very good, excellent or it sucked would do just fine! geez!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Great book

    I enjoyed this book: The fictional story is very entertaining, while it weaves a story about Irish politics in the early 1900's

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  • Posted December 12, 2012

    Didn't read yet but was checking the review ratings and read too

    Didn't read yet but was checking the review ratings and read too much information in some of them. Reviewers should not give the details of the book so that it spoils it for others. I will read the book anyway even tho now I know some of the things that are going to happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Good read

    I read this after I visited Northern Ireland. It helped me understand more about the troubles (as they call it there) and how life must of been on both sides. I'm looking foeward to reading The Linen Queen next

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    Great escape!

    I love fiction that enables me to learn more about a time in history that I know little about. I will definitely be reading Falvey's other book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    A Beautiful Story

    This book is heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time. I've had it for over a year and am kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. A wonderful story that I will be reading again.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    The Yellow House - Great Historical Fiction

    Really enjoyed this historical fiction, that takes place in Northern Ireland in the early 19th century. Rich with characters, suspense, religion, rolling hillsides, traditions and love. A little slow to start but found it truly engaging once past the intro.

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