A novel set in London and rural Ireland and spanning more than half a century, and with themes of deception and pretence, this is the story of the McDermotts and the Davidsons, two families linked by the marriage of Rose McDermott, an attractive, spirited Irishwoman, to Henry Davidson, a wealthy Londoner. Like most unions, Henry and Rose's goes well for the first while but then begins to deteriorate. Rose is looking for love and communication; Henry, enigmatic and cold, seeks only an heir to continue the Davidson family line. Within a few short years, husband and wife are leading separate lives while living under the one roof and keeping up appearances.
The patient building of characters drew me in to such an extent I was worried for Henry’s daughter even as she had grown into a strong successful woman. I shared the book with my mother & she became so enraged with Henry Davidson that I had to remind her that he was a fictional character. John is also meticulous in giving the reader a geographical feel for the setting. In short – he pulls you in. Janna Hill
Shadows of Substance is a most absorbing and wonderful novel. John Flanagan deftly weaves good and evil into his strong characters as well as his accurate historical perspective. I can't say enough praise for this powerful story replete with mysteries of human nature, and it certainly has left a mark on my heart. Christine Tsen
"Shadows of Substance" is a marvelously written novel. Author John Flanagan's knowledge of the locales and character types adds a unique richness that would otherwise not be possible. From the daily chores,customs and goings on of the Irish farming family McDermott and the village folk to the lifestyle and mystery of the wealthy English family Davidson, the author expertly captures and reveals it all. Characters move into and out of the story seamlessly. John has woven the dialog expertly into the fabric of the novel. A masterfully created and written novel that will hold your attention throughout. Jon Michael Willey
"Shadows of substance" Started reading a part of this book a few years back, didnt and couldn't get the last part of the book ,so I am delighted to be able to continue to follow this well written realistic story of an intriguing family.
"Shadows of Substance" Another very enjoyable read from John Flanagan. The characters come to life and the dialogue and emotions are authentic. By the end of the book I felt that I knew the two families personally. It is a book to be savoured. Rod McCormick
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