The Ballroom Café

  • by Ann O'Loughlin
  • Narrated by Grainne Gillis
  • 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Sisters Ella and Roberta O'Callaghan live in separate wings of their crumbling Irish mansion. They haven't spoken for decades, torn apart by a dark family secret from their past, and communicate only through the terse notes they leave for each other in the hallway.
Debbie, an American, is searching for her birth mother, hoping to discover who she really is and what happened to her.
With the bank threatening, Ella tries to save the family home by opening a café in the ballroom, much to Roberta's disgust. And when Debbie offers to help out in the café, the war between the sisters intensifies. But then Debbie begins to unravel the truth....

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What the Critics Say

"A moving tale of loss, love and redemption." (Bella Magazine)
"Deftly written, moving and courageous." (The Sunday Times)
"Slow-marching, romantic prose draws us into an old world that is rustic, genteel, quaint...[but] scandals lie in wait." (Irish Independent)
"Highly engaging debut you will want to dive into." (Sunday Independent, Ireland)
"A lovely first novel." (Cathy Kelly, best-selling author)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Sweet story

Sweet story but not particularly gripping. However, it is well written and interesting enough to make you want to finish it. The narrator is good but all the voices are rather shouty and manly which I found probably made me less into the book than had I read it. I felt Ella would have had a softer voice
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- Carrie

Surprising plot

I found this book unusual as it has some very surprising plot twists and turns, some of them are a bit disturbing too as you find yourself thinking 'could this really have happened?', especially if you've seen the film Philomena. I suppose it may be the mark of a good storyteller that she makes it all seem quite real and once you get absorbed by it, the storyline is unpredictable and that makes a nice change.

Although, I'm not sure about this narrator...I persevered with her and did begin to get used to her, by which point she didn't seem quite so strange! Worth it though for a good story.
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- Katie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-09-2015
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing