Those of you who are familiar with my books know that Ireland is one of my favorite places to visit, in real life and in fiction. It’s a country of dramatic cliffs and quiet fields. One of myth and magic and legend. In Jewels of the Sun, I’ve borrowed from some of those myths and created my own legend.
It could have happened.
I’d like you to meet the Gallaghers of Ardmore: Aidan, Shawn, and Darcy, who run the local pub in this pretty seaside village in the county of Waterford. Not far from the village is a cottage, a place of magic where a lonely American woman comes to explore her roots and her heart.
She won’t be alone in the house, for there is another lonely woman in residence. She just happens to be a ghost.
With the help of a faerie prince who loved well if not wise, Aidan Gallagher of Ardmore and Jude Frances Murray from Chicago will find their place, and take the first step toward breaking a hundred-year spell.
I’d like to take you back to Ireland with me, through the doors of Gallagher’s Pub where the fire’s burning low and the pints are waiting. I have a story to tell you.
In the small village of Ardmore, Ireland, Gallagher's pub is the center of the lively seaside community and the home of three passionate siblings: Aidan, Shawn, and Darcy. As a world traveler and a barkeep, the eldest brother Aidan has just about seen and heard it all, but when a quiet professor from Chicago enters his tavern, he is instantly intrigued--and certain that there is more to Jude Murray than what meets the eye.
Jude has returned to her grandmother's ancestral home to sort out her thoughts, know her heart, and "find Jude F. Murray in six months or less." After a life of deliberate security, Jude finds herself recovering from a failed marriage and a disappointing career. With the pretense of a research expedition, Jude leaves her life in Chicago and moves into the charming house on top of the faerie hill. Surrounded by the awesome scenery and relieved by the simplicity of life, Jude excuses her visions of ghosts and faeries as signs of her mental recovery.
But the inhabitants of Ardmore, and Aidan Gallagher in particular, don't dismiss these apparitions with such convenient logic, and Jude learns to listen more carefully to the messages in the world. As Aidan and Jude draw closer to each other, Jude struggles to discover, balance, and define the complex parts of her soul.
In the character of Jude Murray, Nora Roberts has created a sophisticated woman whose internal development from skittish recluse to confident lover is realistic and convincing. Carefully avoiding the "good man is a solution to all problems" plot, Roberts lets Jude and Aidan interact and develop individually, as well as together as a couple. While this modern tone is refreshing, it feels a bit at odds with the supernatural, faerie themes. As this is the first in a series about the Gallagher siblings and the faerie legend, perhaps these thematic contradictions will sort themselves out in the subsequent novels. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien