Equal parts Downton Abby and Greek tragedy, In The Shadow of the Manor weaves together the music, myth and poetry of Ireland to tell the story of Agnes Connor, from her childhood in a family of farmers shouldering the legacy of a thousand years of oppression by England, then to her marriage to John Gavagan and their separation and ultimate survival of the famine. Their trials are a direct result of a millennia of cruel British rule. In the child Agnes, we have the spirit of ancient Ireland, wild, musical and fearless; in the mature Agnes, we see a modern-day Penelope who does not stay home and weave, but takes to the road to find her husband, to save her family and to heal her ravaged country.
In counterpoint to the harsh lives of the tenant farmers, we meet the Mountjoy brothers, English landlords who watch their privileged way of life collapse in the famine. Their lives collide with an American woman, Elizabeth Silverton. Along with her young daughter, she is abandoned in Ireland by her English husband. Her love for Robert Mountjoy and her sympathy for the suffering Irish farmers demonstrate the power of compassion as she steps in to feed the starving.
In The Shadow of the Manor braids the epic resonance of Greek tragedy and the compelling voices of the The Help to confront the personal odysseys of its characters through bounty and starvation; soup lines and grand balls, countless acts of cruelty and heroics, and the desperate measures each must take to survive.
Follow this family saga as it unfolds over generations and through classes recognizable in today’s headlines, the passion, romance and strivings in our own lives.
Books 1 through 4 and the box set of In The Shadow of the Manor (formerly titled In the Equal of God) is available at Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.