Dublin 1869, and Sackville Street is one of the most prestigious places to live. When young widow, Milandra Carter moves in, she shakes up the conservative society, with her bright clothes, her 'forward' attitude and her disregard for traditional etiquette. But behind her beauty lies a woman of purpose. She will do anything to get what she wants and she will take down anyone who gets in her way.
Constance Staffordshire is engaged to marry one of Dublin's most eligible bachelors, Nicholas Fontenoy, and is on the cusp of a bright future with the man she loves. But when Milandra sets her eyes on Nicholas, this future becomes uncertain. Constance has her suspicions about this glamorous, wealthy widow but no one else seems to agree with her. Is she imagining it?
Dublin 1916 and Milandra finds herself taken hostage by a group of rebels who are fighting for Ireland's Independence. As Sackville Street is crumbling under fire and the body count rises, she remains stoic and determined. The past catches up on her and the memories of long hidden secrets come seeping out.
Drama, subterfuge and secrets. All the ingredients of a novel you can escape into. From the very first page the reader is enveloped into the crazy world of Milandra Carter and her zany side-kick and cook, Flancy. A wicked pair, they land with aplomb on the stunning Sackville Street, surrounded by the elite of Dublin society and its genteel residents. Ignoring all advice to keep a low profile after her husbands death, Milandra immediately gets to work on becoming the most talked about lady in Dublin. Poor Constance doesn't stand a chance, as this femme-fatal inserts herself into the Fontenoy fold and takes control of Nicolas' future. The games begin and the reader is witness to the determined actions of Milandra and Flancy. The novel switches forward to 1916, where Milandra remains on Sackville Street, now in her old age, and is trapped in a volatile situation with a group of young and fearful rebels. She refuses to bow to their commands and in usual Milandra style, cooks up a storm.
This is a racy, pacy piece of historical fiction. Full of drama and decadence. It flies along with a steady pace and the characters immediately come to life. It may be just over 500 pages long but can be devoured in a few sittings. You will not be bogged down with historical facts, just the bare essentials to help the reader place Sackville Street in relation to the 1916 rising. If you enjoyed Downton Abbey, RTÉ's Rebellion and BBC's The Paradise, then this is for you. Improbable, addictive storylines which unfold gloriously as you turn the pages. Light and fun, not to be taken too seriously, this is pure escapism. Another enjoyable historical drama from A.O'Connor.
On Sackville Street is available in TPB and ebook format. You can order your copy (currently half price as part of Black Friday promotion from Poolbeg Books) HERE. The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below: