A Lissadell Story

Written by
Judi Curtin
Cover design or artwork by
Rachel Corcoran
Lily Steps Up

Nellie is overjoyed when Lily and Maeve manage to track down her sister, Johanna, and fix it so she comes to Lissadell. But when a valuable locket goes missing, Johanna is the chief suspect; should Lily take the blame, so that the sisters can stay together?

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320 pages
216x150 mm

Also available as an Electronic Book (ePub)


From the author of Lily at Lissadell and the ‘Alice & Megan’, ‘Eva’ and ‘Time After Time’ series

Lissadell House, Sligo, 1913

Friends Lily and Nellie work long hard hours as housemaids for the Gore Booth family in the Big House. And yet these are days filled with friendship, fun, and even madcap bicycle rides with Maeve, daughter of the famous Republican, Countess Marcievicz.

But Lily knows there’s an empty place in her friend’s heart. Nellie is all alone in the world; she grew up in the workhouse, where she was separated from her sisters. Lily longs to help her, but could she end up losing all she has – even her livelihood. And what will happen to her hopes and dreams? Just how much would you give up for a friend …?


A story of friendship set in the changing world of early 20th century Ireland.

Judi Curtin is the best-selling author of the ‘Alice and Megan’ series, the 'Eva' series. several other books. Judi's new series, beginning with Time After Time, is about Beth and Molly, accidental time-travelling best friends. Judi Curtin won the Irish Book Award Senior 2017 for Stand By Me.

Rachel Corcoran is a freelance illustrator and designer from Dublin, Ireland. A member of Illustrators Ireland, Rachel's work appears in children's books and book cover illustrations. Rachel also runs her online shop where she sells her earth-kind illustrated greeting cards and prints. When Rachel is not illustrating, she loves to bake with her helper Billie the cat, garden with her outdoor cat Socks, and read books that are set in times long ago. 

Lily is once again shown to be a kind, resourceful character that children can look up to. She is determined to help her friend Nellie find the family she was separated from in the workhouse and uses all the connections she has to do so. Curtin’s familiar conversational style keeps the reader engaged with the characters and the plot. Irish history lovers will enjoy the presence of characters such as Countess Markievicz. A thoroughly enjoyable read and sure to become a favourite in Irish households

Children's Books Ireland

No one writes friendship stories quite like Curtin and the historical details are fascinating, like the seal in the Lissadell pond. Everyone needs a friend like Lily, kind, clever and tenacious, and in a difficult year, this book is like a warm hug

Irish Independent

Judi Curtin fans have a treat in store with the much-anticipated sequel to last year’s Lily A t Lissadell arriving in time for Christmas. Lily Steps Up returns to the Downton esque ‘big house’ of the Booths in Lissadell, Co Sligo. Fact meets fiction as serving girl Lily and Maeve, daughter of Constance Markievicz, track down the sister of another servant and bring her to Lissadell, but Lily faces a dilemma when a valuable locket goes missing and the sister becomes the chief suspect

The Holly Bough

Gives a valuable insight into the lives in the Big House as well as the gap between the upstairs and downstairs. Well drawn characters and a tale with a twist in the tail

Irish Examiner

Judi Curtin, whose Alice and Megan, Eva, and Friends Forever series have made her a firm favourite with readers aged seven-plus, has just released the second of her Lissadell books. Lily Steps Up continues the intriguing story of the fictional housemaid at Sligo’s Lissadell House, who befriends the real Maeve Markievicz. Set in 1914, against a backdrop of huge social change in Ireland in which Maeve’s mother Constance was actively involved, the story revolves around Lily’s attempts to help her friend, fellow serving girl Nellie, who appears to be alone in the world … Tales of female friendship being something of a speciality for Cork native Curtin, this historical setting, giving an insight into social-class division, makes the Lissadell series among her most accomplished yet

Evening Echo
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Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Nicola Heaney

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