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The Yellow House

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  6,707 ratings  ·  620 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.
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Center Street (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  6,707 ratings  ·  620 reviews


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Always Pouting
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical fiction book about Northern Ireland in the early 1900's during all the religious tensions around the Irish Revolution. Eileen, our heroin, loses her family in the beginning of the novel and works hard to reestablish herself and find security. I loved Eileen and how stubborn and passionate she is through out the book. I honestly thought this would be a simple love story but it really goes deeper than that to Eileen's own questions of identity and loyalty. Not that much time is really ...more
Connie G
"The Yellow House" is a well written novel set in Northern Ireland during the early 20th Century. It's the coming of age story of Eileen O'Neill who has lost much of her family following some tragic events. The young woman hopes to rebuild her family home someday, a yellow house with a long family history that sits at the edge of the mountain, Slieve Gullion. She dreamed of "happier times when we were all together and the music played".

Eileen is a strong redhead with a hot temper and a sharp
...more
Alayne Bushey
Feb 21, 2010 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 ONeill, 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
Angela
Jul 07, 2010 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 ...more
Linda Day
Jun 06, 2010 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
...more
Fictionophile
For the 4th title of my Reading Ireland Month challenge, I chose a book that has been on my Kindle for a couple of years.  It is a debut novel steeped in Irish history and peopled with unforgettable characters.

"Indeed, it would become known far and wide as the Yellow House. When the sun shone it dazzled like a golden beacon, and even on the grayest of days it glowed through the mist like magic."

The book begins with the O'Neill family who live in an old yellow house in the shadow of Slieve
...more
Carol
Aug 16, 2012 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
Lindsay
Aug 26, 2012 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
...more
Gaby
Mar 04, 2010 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
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Feb 12, 2011 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 ...more
Stephanie
Aug 28, 2011 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
...more
Bridget
Dec 02, 2009 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,
...more
Suzanne
Set in early 20th century Northern Ireland, the novel begins when Eileen O'Neill's family is torn apart at the death of her father. The family is split up - her mother winds up in a mental institution and young Eileen is forced to work in the mill. The Yellow House does a wonderful job examining the politics and social consequences of religious discrimination as well as Northern Ireland's struggle to maintain it's identity after the English forced a population shift from native Irish to English ...more
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 ...more
Bernadette Weston
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I could not stop turning the pages.
Corinne Edwards

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
...more
Allison
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
...more
Holly Weiss
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rereading this for March group read - The Novel Ideas. March 2014.

Theres never a dull moment in Patricia Falveys 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. Falveys narrative and dialogue deftly fill in the history and back stories to her plot. The novel is so well
...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 ...more
Kris Irvin
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Shelli
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.
Kathleen Kelly
Jan 25, 2010 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,
...more
Mandolin
Jul 05, 2011 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 ...more
Meg
Aug 25, 2012 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 ...more
LemonLinda
Mar 31, 2011 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 ...more
Judy
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: almost anyone
Recommended to Judy by: L&L
This book was a riviting account of events in Northern Ireland in the early 1900's. It is beautifully written with humor and poetry and human emotion.


Eileen O'Neill is a bright, stubborn and passionate girl, caught up in the civil strife in her province in Northern Ireland. She meets her friend's older brother, James Conlon. She is attracted to charasmatic and passionate political activist James, yet drawn to quiet level headed Owen Sheridan, the son of the family that owns the mill where she
...more
Dolly
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jo
Shelves: 2011
Interesting story, likable characters, and quick read. Great book.
Bettie
Nov 15, 2012 marked it as maybe
Recommended to Bettie by: Wanda
spotted on Wanda's profile

As Wogan would say... Norden Island
Lia
Nov 11, 2014 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!
Paige Wilmer
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, and it let me understand The Troubles more than I had previously. Obviously, I wouldn't suggest this book as a substitution for actually learning about the history of the conflicts in Ireland - but it helped me contextualize some things. Anyways, I really liked the author's writing style and managed to enjoy this book 4 stars worth even thought I detested the main character.
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Would you recommend reading this Irish saga? 10 49 Oct 12, 2016 02:29PM  
Ladies & Literature: Official September 2012 Book Discussion: The Yellow House: A Novel 26 67 Jan 29, 2013 02:32AM  
Ladies & Literature: The Yellow House Discussion Prize - ends November 2! 10 19 Nov 03, 2012 03:40AM  
The Yellow House, First Novel 2 24 May 10, 2012 08:18AM  
May Book 2 21 May 10, 2012 08:17AM  

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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 ...more

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