The Linen Queen (Hardcover)

By Patricia Falvey

Center Street, 9781599952000, 320pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (2/15/2012)

List Price: 21.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Abandoned by her father and neglected by her self-centered, unstable mother, Sheila McGee cannot wait to escape the drudgery of her mill village life in Northern Ireland. Her classic Irish beauty helps her win the 1941 Linen Queen competition, and the prize money that goes with it finally gives her the opportunity she's been dreaming of. But Sheila does not count on the impact of the Belfast blitz which brings World War II to her doorstep. Now even her good looks are useless in the face of travel restrictions, and her earlier resolve is eroded by her ma's fear of being left alone.
When American troops set up base in her village, some see them as occupiers but Sheila sees them as saviors--one of them may be her ticket out. Despite objections from her childhood friend, Gavin O'Rourke, she sets her sights on an attractive Jewish-American army officer named Joel Solomon, but her plans are interrupted by the arrival of a street-wise young evacuee from Belfast.
Frustrated, Sheila fights to hold on to her dream but slowly her priorities change as the people of Northern Ireland put old divisions aside and bond together in a common purpose to fight the Germans. Sheila's affection for Joel grows as she and Gavin are driven farther apart. As the war moves steadily closer to those she has grown to love, Sheila confronts more abandonment and loss, and finds true strength, compassion, and a meaning for life outside of herself.

About the Author

Patricia Falvey was born in County Down, Northern Ireland. She was raised in Northern Ireland and England before immigrating to the United States at the age of twenty. Formerly a managing director with an international financial services firm, she now devotes herself full-time to writing and teaching. She divides her time between Dallas, Texas, and County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Her first novel, The Yellow House, was published by Center Street in February 2010.

Praise For The Linen Queen

"Sheila McGee, the feisty young 'Linen Queen,' will touch your heart as she grows from a girl who values herself only for her good looks into a compassionate woman who discovers inner reserves of strength. A dramatic story told against the backdrop of World War II in Northern Ireland."
-Mary Pat Kelly, author of the bestselling novel Home Away from Home - The Yanks in Ireland and Galway Bay

"The Linen Queen is an emotionally powerful book ,and a joy to read. Falvey has a gift for creating realistic and very believable characters. By saying it`s a gift, I don`t mean it`s easy to do this. It is the result of much hard work."
-Irish American News