Ann O’Loughlin returns to the blog today with a story full of questions and discoveries in
The Ludlow Ladies’ Society
Ludlow Hall, outside Dublin in the village of Rosdaniel is the centerpoint of this story: inherited from her husband Connie, she’d never heard of the place, nor been to Ireland in her life. Curious and without anything else, Connie heads to the Hall hoping to discover why it was purchased and get answers to questions she never knew needed asking. Told in multiple points of view from four women, each with their own curious ties to the hall, and with the exception of Connie, all members of the Ludlow Ladies Society – a group that gathers in various homes to quilt and chatter. With the arrival of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, the ladies have decided that they will present a quilt that tells the story of their lives in the small town.
I’ll admit, this story started out feeling very disjointed, with multiple POV’s sharing moments and memories, often dancing on the line of self-pity and anger at the changes brought in the years that have passed. With tales from women whose lives were integrally linked to the Hall, and Connie’s struggles to discover just why she’s found herself involved with it – the development of the story is a gradual one. Not a read in one sitting story – their revelations are often heartbreaking, and you can’t help but hope that their lives turned for the better, even as their initial introductions don’t always feel as if that is possible. Slowly as their display quilt is pieced together, each scrap of material adds layers to the story, showing the often unexpected ways in which these lives have intersected or paralleled, bringing them each to this point. Ultimately, this is a story of possibilities redefined and rebuilt with time, friendship and recognition of their similarities, highlighted by their differing approaches and personalities that make their friendships, and the quilt, a testament to their lives and struggles brought together to make a singular object that requires each give and share of themselves.
I’m not quite sure what I was expecting initially from this story, and I’ll admit that my expectations and fascination with each of the characters also tended to change and develop as things progressed, but I did find that my initial struggles with the slow pace as information and clues to each person wasn’t immediately relevant, but the journey was well worth the time. Read over a five-day span (a rarity for me) by the time I was half-through the book, I wanted only to return and discover more.Author: Ann O'Loughlin
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Setting: Ireland
Published by: Black & White Publishing
Published on: 20 July, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Connie Carter has lost everybody and everything dear to her. To help nurse her grieving heart and to try and find answers, she moves from her home in America to Ludlow Hall, deep in the Irish countryside. All she knows about Ludlow is that her late husband spent all their money on the house – without ever mentioning it to her. Now Connie needs to know why.
At Ludlow Hall, Connie befriends Eve and Hetty and is introduced to the somewhat curious Ludlow Ladies’ Society. But can Connie ever reveal her hurt? And, more importantly, can she ever understand or forgive? As the Ludlow Ladies stitch patchwork memory quilts to remember those they have loved and lost, the secrets of the past finally begin to surface.
The Ludlow Ladies’ Society is a story of friendship, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.