25 January 2012

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen



The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
by Julie Klassen
(Kindle Edition, Historical Fiction)

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:  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 thoughts:  This is the second book I've read by Julie Klassen and once again she did not disappoint, I truly enjoyed this book immensely.  It's a tale of the very wealthy, their loyal servants, beautiful gowns and masquerade balls, deceit and unrequited love.

The things that Margaret "Nora" had to go through as a housemaid certainly made for some amusing moments, especially her first time at emptying a chamber pot.  Margaret's character goes through tremendous growth and maturity throughout the book and she becomes aware of how badly she treated people prior to her going into hiding. I enjoyed how she gets to secretly observe both brothers and realize just how wrong she was to judge them on appearances alone.

If you love the Jane Austen classics, then you have to try one of Julie Klassen's novels.

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