Monday, April 2, 2012
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen: Book Review
Margaret Macy absolutely must leave because her stepfather and would-be fiancé are plotting for her inheritance through this unwanted marriage. She leaves the only life she has known stealthily and seeks employment in a home as a housemaid - knowing full-well she doesn't know a single thing about housework.
In Margaret's new place of employment, she encounters Nathaniel Upchurch, the second son in the household, a former romantic interest of Margaret's, and the male lead character. Nathaniel is a man of strong character and resolve.
The status conflict between servant help and their rank is revealed early in the story. Now employed at Fairbourne Hall, our untrained servant and former upper class lady, Margaret, discovers she might soon be revealed because of her rank (pun intended) lack of skills.
We are given a good look at the classic interaction and rank among the servants that was so prevalent in the 1800s London home. Getting to see what life was like for the servants of each level is an interesting journey into history. I remember visiting Biltmore House in Asheville, NC and seeing the servants' work area and also the servants' sleeping areas. There were distinct differences and the accommodations for the servants, while adequate, were extremely modest. That was America and the wealthy class during this same period. The difference was more profound in London and Europe.
Klassen is a Jane Austen expert and has secured a place as a noted author of the Regency period. She researches each new book thoroughly. Some of her many sources for the current release are used as a quotation at the beginning of each chapter.
I found this to be an entertaining and enlightening book to read. Julie Klassen presents her readers with a joy of a read.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary review copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.
at 2:38:00 PM