About the Author
A leading journalist in Ireland for nearly thirty years Ann O’Loughlin has covered all major news events of the last three decades. Ann spent most of her career with independent newspapers where she was Security Correspondent at the height of The Troubles, and was a senior journalist on the Irish Independent and Evening Herald. She is currently a senior journalist with the Irish Examiner newspaper covering legal issues. Ann has also lived and worked in India. Originally from the west of Ireland she now lives on the east coast with her husband and two children.
Quote ‘Betty reached for her handkerchief as she felt the tears rise inside her, ‘You understand I can only tell you what I know and what I heard. I can’t distinguish between fact and fiction.’
About the book
Sisters Ella and Roberta O’Callaghan haven’t spoken for decades, torn apart by a dark family secret from their past. They both still live in the family’s crumbling Irish mansion, communicating only through the terse and bitter notes they leave for each other in the hallway. But when their way of life is suddenly threatened by bankruptcy, Ella tries to save their home by opening a café in the ballroom – much to Roberta’s disgust.
As the café begin to thrive, the sisters are drawn into a new battle when Debbie, an American woman searching for her birth mother, starts working at the Ballroom Café. Debbie has little time left but as she sets out to discover who she really is and what happened to her mother, she is met by silence and lies at the local convent. Determined to discover the truth, she begins to uncover an adoption scandal that will rock both the community and the warring sisters.
Powerful and poignant, The Ballroom Café is a moving story of love lost and found.
Notes, secrets and sisters combine to make The Ballroom Cafe one of the best reads for me this year. Once started I could not put Ann O’Loughlin’s book down.
The blurb tells you everything you need to know about this absorbing tale so I have little to add about the story, but I will say that a web of intrique is woven within this novel and every page is written with such brilliance that I read it in one sitting. My life was on hold for the day.
This tragic and profound read is both emotional and captivating.
Based on a true story, the horror of what happened to Ella and many women like her in Ireland at the time, is written with gentleness and Ann O’Loughlin cleverly portrays the feelings of all involved, even those who are at fault. More than once I felt the reality of what it was I was reading.
The Ballroom Cafe will enthrall and delight it’s reader and is one I highly recommend…. Now where can I buy a pretty broach??