Historical Sagas


Cashelmara is a historical saga that follows three generations of deSalis family and is told in the voices of several of the characters. We begin with the elderly widower, Edward DeSalis. He is an Englishman with landholdings throughout England and a favorite estate in Ireland. He marries the young Marguerite and brings her back to his homelands, where she encounters his children from his first marriage. The story then changes to Marguerite, and we see life from her point of view. The story continues with the marriage of Edward’s eldest son, Patrick, who marries the young and spoiled American Sarah, who was raised in privilege, but whose family was on the verge of bankruptcy. The young couple quickly run through all their money and are forced to live on the Irish estate of Cashelmara, a favorite resort of the elder deSalis, but seemingly too remote for Patrick and Sarah. The marriage of Patrick and Sarah was doomed from the start, but neither acknowledges the failure until Sarah encounters Patrick’s nemesis, Maxwell Drummond. This is a nice thick family drama that also informs the reader about the potato famine of the 1800s.


I first read this book in 1978, but came across a copy recently, so read it again.