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The Yellow House

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  5,231 Ratings  ·  525 Reviews
THE YELLOW HOUSE delves into the passion and politics of Northern Ireland at the beginning of the 20th Century. Eileen O'Neill's family is torn apart by religious intolerance and secrets from the past. Determined to reclaim her ancestral home and reunite her family, Eileen begins working at the local mill, saving her money and holding fast to her dream. As war is declared ...more
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published February 15th 2010 by Center Street (first published 2009)
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Best Fiction Set in Ireland
46th out of 362 books — 323 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 04, 2012 Angela rated it did not like it
I didnt like any of the characters in this book. Eileen was annoying, Owen was a weasel, and James was a jerk. The writing wasnt that great either. I hated the way both of the men just kept running after Eileen when in real life she was such a jerk to everyone that she would've had no friends. She never said a kind word in the entire book. Also, there was too much nonsense about family pride and being a 'warrior O'Neill.' I will grant that I didnt know Ireland had gone through such turmoil and i ...more
Linda Day
Jun 06, 2010 Linda Day rated it it was ok
I started this book because I loved the genre ... Irish novel. It is timed in the first World War, and the beginnings of the on-going civil war in Ireland between the Catholica and the Protestants. But, let me say, it was even less than OK (which is the 2* definition). This was no Maeve Binchey, I will tell you that ! I quit reading before I had finished the book.

And sadly, because it began well with a feisty red-headed heroine, but the roof just kept falling on her head; the language became mo
Alayne Bushey
Feb 25, 2010 Alayne Bushey rated it it was amazing
Occasionally an epic story comes along that makes the reader cry at the end of the novel. I am that reader, and The Yellow House is that novel. Spanning the early twentieth century, set in Northern Ireland during the time of the Irish revolution, we follow Eileen O’Neill, warrior, daughter, and sister as she slowly loses everything she loves but learns to rise again. Growing up at the base of her beloved mountain, Slieve Gullion, Eileen knows the terrors she dreams at night do not bode well for ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing
Great read, beautifully written (loved the Irish brogue!) This story is of a young Northern Irish woman who, inheriting a legacy of warriors, must come to terms with the burdens that legacy carries and find the strength within her that it brings. Spanning twenty years of her life, the book recounts Eileen O'Neill's struggles with the difficulties that come with war (both WWI; the Irish War of Independence) and poverty, including the loss of her family to murder, mental illness and hatred. In the ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Feb 21, 2011 Holly (2 Kids and Tired) rated it did not like it
Irish stories have always fascinated me and this one certainly sounded promising. The premise is good and the political history is interesting, although it got a bit laborious in parts. Some will argue that politics is inherent to Ireland and while they are correct, I didn't pick this book up for the history lesson, I wanted a people story. Unfortunately, the characters simply weren't people I cared about. Eileen, in particular, wasn't at all likeable. James' family, and his mother in particular ...more
Sep 21, 2012 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Alright. I admit it. I ended up really enjoying this.
The beginning had such a slow build, that I had a hard time getting into it. I wasn't attached to the characters, and I had small hope of it getting better. I will eat those words, because it really turned into a great story, and I have grown so attached to the characters that I will actually miss them now that the book is over.

I liken this book to The Tea Rose, and not just because they are both romantic historical fiction. We have an excepti
Mar 04, 2010 Gaby rated it really liked it
Patricia Falvey's first novel, The Yellow House, has been described as firmly and unapologetically on the side of Republican/Nationalist perspective. I didn't feel that this point of view detracted from the novel. Eileen O'Neill is strong-willed, determined, and often excessively stubborn, but these same traits help keep her sane as she faces amazing personal tragedies. The events in Eileen's life are tied to the growing hostilities and political unrest in Ireland. Eileen faces the loss of both ...more
Dec 02, 2009 Bridget rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
This is another family story, which takes place during the Revolutionary Period in Ireland. The story begins in 1905 and ends in 1924, and centers around Eileen O'Neill and her family.

The story opens with Eileen remembering a particular summer when she was 8 years old, and her father returns at the end of the day with yellow paint for their house. As the story progresses, and the family home is lost and the family is torn apart, Eileen holds the idea of the yellow house close to her heart, beli
Charlene Intriago
Great story about an Irish girl who as a kid starts off viewing the world through rose colored glasses only to discover the harsh realities when she grows up. Eileen O'Neill thinks the world of her parents and her family. She is a spunky red-head, speaks her mind more often than she should, and through some quirks of fate gets herself mixed up in things you never would have thought would happen. And, she tries to hold on to her dreams for as long as she can. I liked that about her. I loved the t ...more
All I can really say positively about this book is that it somehow manages to have a happy ending after all the crap that Eileen goes through (much brought on herself, but not all). And that the historical backdrop of the early 20th Century in Ireland is interesting. I learned a lot about the conflict between Protestants and Catholics, and the formation of Northern Ireland and the IRA - a bloody, hateful history that Eileen brashly dashes into because of her family's proud warrior history.

I wish

For Eileen, Ireland is more than just a country. It's a home, a history - an heirloom to be defended and cherished. From the time she was a babe her Da taught her a fierce pride in her Irish-Catholic roots - and living in Ulster at the turn-of-the-century made Eileen witness to the sort of strife that was as much a part of Irish Catholic life as soda bread and music on a Saturday night. When she is still young, her family and their beloved Yellow House begin to fall apart as political unrest and
Holly Weiss
Mar 14, 2014 Holly Weiss rated it it was amazing
Rereading this for March group read - The Novel Ideas. March 2014.

There’s never a dull moment in Patricia Falvey’s debut novel, The Yellow House. Northern Ireland in the revolutionary period of the early 1900s almost becomes a character in this novel weaving intrigue, romance, politics and family love. The reader will feel a part of this tiny Irish village within a few pages. Ms. Falvey’s narrative and dialogue deftly fill in the history and back stories to her plot. The novel is so well constru
Sep 06, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This was a satisfactory read. I have a long-held fascination with the Troubles in Ireland. This book predictably made me hungry to learn more about my paternal lineage. My great grandmother, Eleanor, was born in Ireland and ended up in Wales sometime before the 1920s. I don't know much more than that, but I suspect her Protestant roots may have had something to do with her decision to leave Ireland and relocate to the UK.

Although Eileen, the narrator and main character of The Yellow House, was
Lauri Saplad
Apr 08, 2016 Lauri Saplad rated it it was amazing
Heart wrenching, beautifully executed book about a time period and area in Ireland I knew very little about. This story is told through one woman's struggle to come to terms with social class, religion and politics in Ulster, Ireland in the early 1900's. It shows what it meant to be working class/poor and Catholic while surrounded by Irish Protestants & the English. It is told in prose so lyrical and evocative, you almost feel as though you're right there. Eileen O'Neill never gave up her st ...more
This was an enjoyable read. It reminded me of a couple different books I have read. The Irish Protestant/Catholic struggle reminded me of Trinity....although this one didn't have as "heavy" of an undertone. The fast-paced part of the story and the characters were a bit reminiscent of The Tea Rose.
Jul 11, 2011 Mandolin rated it really liked it
The Yellow House is the story of a young Northern Irish woman who, inheriting a legacy of warriors, must come to terms with the burdens that legacy carries and find the strength within her that it brings. Spanning twenty years of her life, the book recounts Eileen O'Neill's struggles with the difficulties that come with war (both WWI and the Irish war of independence) and poverty, including the loss of her family to murder, mental illness and hatred. In the midst of this storm, she is torn betwe ...more
Christina White
A great read! I loved the way the story was told. Eileen narrated the story using a sharp Irish tongue that I found so charming I wanted to read it out loud. I love a good feisty heroine! The Yellow House is a story of a young Irish girl who faces many tragedies and hardships both close to her heart and in her homeland. She carries with her a warrior's spirit that was handed down to her through her father. She fights through all the challenges of her life with a dream that one day she will resto ...more
Kris Irvin
Aug 31, 2012 Kris Irvin rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
I should have loved this book. I am really into the time period it is set in (1914-1920) and I love kind of epic, sweeping stories like this. But I finished the book feeling very disappointed.

There are too many side characters that don't mean anything or that have no real bearing on the story. Many of them could have been left out. On top of that, none of the characters are particularly likable.

The heroine, Eileen, is not much of a heroine and she has a ridiculous mouth. The language in this b
Oct 11, 2015 Lia rated it it was amazing
It was a little of a slow start, but it was worth all the build up. And I've finally found a woman with more rage issues than me, hahaha!
Feb 24, 2015 Marcie rated it really liked it
A very well-written historical fiction novel about the Catholic/Protestant conflict in 1900's Ireland. I honestly almost put this down and walked away after reading the first section. It was heartbreaking, tragic and sad and it left me feeling hollow and helpless but I continued on. I'm so glad I did! The book takes the reader from the beginning of religious and economic unrest through World War I and into the 1920's.

The characters were real and believable. As you follow Eileen through the loss
Mar 12, 2014 LemonLinda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hfu-2014
My Irish heritage has clearly been calling to me recently as this makes the third book dealing with this period of revolt and revolution in the first couple of decades of the 20th century that I have read in the past year, all of which have combined to serve as an education for much of the political unrest in that region. Since the English stripped the land away from so many of the Irish in the 19th century, the love of the land became a passionate cause for many native Irish as it did for Eilee ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eileen O'Neill is everything a young woman is: headstrong, positive she knows everything about everything, passionate, and naive when this books open.

Within the first fifty pages, Eileen experiences so much loss that it makes her even more certain she has the answers.

James Conlon is exactly the type of "bad boy" that would excite every young woman who crossed his path. Why wouldn't Eileen be just like them, one of many, and fall for a hot young exciting man?

Owen Sheridan, the safe guy...who want
Apr 10, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it
This is both a family saga and a personal history of the Irish revolution era in county Armaugh which becomes part of Northern Ireland after the establishment of the Free State. Eileen O'Neill is a strong but stubborn woman who is very driven by the ghost of her family spirit which was taken away when her younger sister dies, her mother loses her sanity and her father is shot by a Unionist gang. She dreams of restoring their family home which her father had painted a bright yellow, making it sta ...more
Dick Edwards
Jan 14, 2012 Dick Edwards rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen Kelly
Feb 18, 2010 Kathleen Kelly rated it it was amazing
As I am a fanatic about anything Irish, when I was approached to receive a copy The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey, I was delighted. I read the reviews and I couldn't wait to get my copy.

This is a novel about Ireland and takes place during the years 1900- 1924 during a time of strife and upheaval due to WWI and during the Home Rule in Ireland. The main character Eileen O'Neill is a very strong woman. After the birth of a baby brother her mother takes off and goes home to Eileens grandfather, b
Jan 18, 2012 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had great potential and is a good, ambitious, first novel. I believe it was well researched and did a good job of simplifying the very confusing conflict in North Ireland. Long ago I read "Gone the Rainbow, Gone the Dove" about the more current history (60's? 70's?) and as I remember, it was very heart-wrenching and dramatic. This book is probably more personalized, limiting the main conflict to a woman torn between two men. The conflict is a part of the story, but not THE story.

I coul
Aug 28, 2012 Meg rated it liked it
First off, how could I not read a book called "The Yellow House?" Anyone who knows me knows how much I love yellow houses, and how I have painted both houses I have owned yellow first thing! This yellow house story however, is not how you would want your life to go! It is very sad until the last few pages, and it is very hard to root for the characters when they are so self destructive. I am all for a main character having flaws, but oh my goodness, I can't imagine a more prideful woman biting o ...more
Vera Marie
Aug 25, 2012 Vera Marie rated it it was amazing
“The Troubles” Such a pedestrian word for such a lengthy disruption of safe and normal life in Ireland. The novel The Yellow House tells the story of an Irish woman born in 1888 in Northern Ireland, and her growing awareness of and involvement in politics.

With great skill, author Patricia Falvey layers what seems on the surface to be the story of a complex family with the complex history of a whole people. It is the story of a house that is a home and a country that is a home.

Whether you know
Ricki Treleaven
Mar 09, 2013 Ricki Treleaven rated it really liked it
This week I read The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey. I love reading books by Irish writers, especially those from Northern Ireland as I am from Scotch-Ulster descent.

This book chronicles the story of the O'Neill family and their home, the "yellow house," situated at the base of Slieve Guillon mountain in Ulster. Eileen O'Neill is a child when her Da brings home gallons of canary-yellow paint for the home's exterior. The O'Neills are celebrating the centennial of Warrior Hugh O'Neill's victory o
Jan 25, 2015 Mj rated it really liked it
The Yellow House was on display at my library. The cover and description interested me since I quite enjoy reading books set in other countries and I wanted to learn more about the history of Ireland given some of my heritage.

The Yellow House is the first novel by Patricia Falvey - an Irish born author now living in the U.S. It didn’t disappoint. The story takes place in Ulster in Northern Ireland in the early 1900’s and provides the reader with a real feeling of the political turbulence and pov
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Ladies & Literature: Official September 2012 Book Discussion: The Yellow House: A Novel 26 65 Jan 29, 2013 02:32AM  
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Patricia Falvey is an Irish-born writer living in Dallas, Texas. She is the author of the critically acclaimed The Yellow House, and The Linen Queen. Both are historical novels set in Northern Ireland. Her upcoming novel, The Girls of Ennismore, set in the west of Ireland and focusing on the Easter Uprising of 1916, will be published in the U.S. in March, 2017, and is currently available for pre-o ...more
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“Secrets are like the cancer of families. Like tumors, they grow ever larger, and if they are not removed, they suffocate the mind and spirit, and spawn madness. As long as they remain, they cast a shadow on every truth that is uttered, clouding it, constricting it, disporting it. Secrets hurt the secret keeper as much as the poor souls from whom the secret is kept. And even once the secret is out, its shadow echoes into the future, the remnants of its memory leaving us vigilant and fearful.” 11 likes
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