Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt--and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?
Observing both brothers as an "invisible" servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?
On her journey from wellborn lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of "serve one another in love."
My personal thoughts:
Julie Klassen welcomes readers on her blog with 'If you love romance, English accents, Jane Eyre, or anything by Jane Austen, then you and I are soul sisters and I write for you!'
Along with the intriguing resume it caught my attention! Julie Klassen's books have been on my 'list of books to read' since I wandered one day into an out of town library and found 'The Girl in the Gatehouse'.
I started reading this novel whilst waiting for my family (sightseeing) and was unable to convince the librarian to loan me the book despite being on their circuit...Hooked, I promised myself I will find a copy!
And after reading 'The Maid of Fairbourne Hall' I can attest Julie Klassen's welcoming message is right on! Her historical fictions enables you to envision 19th Century English life in all its fascinating details.
Such is our captivation with the era that we collect the books, see the movies whilst dreaming and sighing...
In this particular story, you have the opportunity to literally experience the upstairs downstairs atmosphere of the low and upper classes.
With witty descriptions and fascinating details in the life of manor servants, the author transports readers to a time of refined elegance, strict etiquette, social intrigues, sweet romance and a good dose of reality.
Her meticulous historical research allows readers to discover the very fabric of the lives of the many men and women employed to run a large house smoothly. At times quaint, other even stark reality, Jule Klassen's colourful descriptions opens a little window on those bygone days!
The captivating header of each chapter offers tantalizing annotations from such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Margaret Willes (Household Management) and Trevor May 'The Victorian Domestic Servant' to give you an uncommon understanding of what such life entailed.
Finally, our heroine soon realizes a woman has little rights, her only comforts being her faith and her determination to overcome obstacles. Julie Klassen of course excels at establishing the many supporting characters which brings this story even more appeal, making this the perfect story for any romantic to enjoy!
A hard book to put down, 'The Maid of Fairbourne Hall' will remain one of the best historical novels I have read in quite awhile! It also has a 'Discussion Questions' chapter well worth checking out by any book club!
Overall, it merits all of 5 stars!
About the author:
Winner of the Christy Award, Julie Klassen is a fascinating writer who enjoys traveling, BBC dramas and much more. Visit her website (here) and be sure to check her England research (here) for a tantalizing look into her inspiration!
And now for the GIVEAWAY!
One fortunate winner will receive:
- A brand new Kindle Fire
- A Julie Klassen Library (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/14/12. Winner will be announced at Julie's Fairbourne Hall Book Chat Party on 3/15. Julie will be hosting an evening of chat, trivia and a sneak peek of her next book - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books and a Downton Abbey Prize Pack (Seasons 1 and 2)!
So grab your copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and join Julie and friends on the evening of March 15th for a book chat party.
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on March 15th!
I received this book free from LITFUSE as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.