Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review - The Maid of Fairbourne Hall



By Julie Klassen


What’s it like to suddenly find yourself in an unfamiliar place in society? Margaret Macy must make this adjustment when she flees a marriage forced upon her by her stepfather. Her narrow escape is made with the aid of her former lady’s maid, Joan. They make their way to a small town outside of London, sufficiently far from her stepfather’s reach. 

Margaret dons a wig and spectacles to conceal her identity and begins life at Fairbourne Hall as a housemaid whose name is “Nora”. Her plan is to bide her time until her upcoming 25th birthday in the fall of 1815, when she will inherit a large sum from her late aunt.

Lewis and Nathaniel Upchurch are the masters at Fairbourne Hall, a small detail that Margaret was unaware of when she was hired. This is a problem; the brothers traveled in the same social circle as Margaret, and she fears her identity is at risk even with her disguise. Much to her dismay, Margaret must attend to the needs of not only Lewis and Nathaniel, but their sister Helen as well. Helen seems to be testing Margaret – but why? Does she suspect that “Nora” is not who she seems? Will flirtatious Lewis or the serious and practical Nathaniel suspect as well?

Margaret soon learns that there is much more to servanthood than she realized. Seeing to someone’s every need and whim shows her just how shallow her life as a genteel young woman had become. Does she use this experience to grow, or does she become bitter and vengeful, particularly to her stepfather, who drove her here in the first place? 

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall has something for nearly everyone – action, adventure, romance, sibling rivalry, fencing, and yes, even a pirate! I love Ms. Klassen’s style; she always has the right blend with her characters, plot, and setting. They combine for a rich and enjoyable story. Some say that she writes in similar fashion to Jane Austen; I’m inclined to agree. If you are a fan of this era’s historical fiction, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this book. I know I did.
 
I obtained this book at no charge from Bethany House for review purposes. No compensation was received for my review.

What are you reading these days?

Have a great weekend,
Karen

17 comments :

  1. I loved this book!!! I read it recently . . .my parents and I share books often and this one came over to my house from them, and I devoured it.

    Great review!

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  2. Tyrean,
    Me too! There's something about her stories - you just nestle in and enjoy them!
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  3. Definitely sounds like a winner. I'm following the Downton series, so I'm hooked on these period pieces. Thanks for sharing, Karen.

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  4. I'm reading text books and chapters by fellow authors. I need to pick up a good book. I will!

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  5. You sold me when you said the style is similar to Jane Austen! Sounds like a must-read. It's going on the list. Thanks again for a great review, Karen :-)

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  6. Joylene,
    I thought so too. :) Will have to check those out!

    Kenda,
    I think you may enjoy it. You are most welcome to the review!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  7. Thanks for the review. I may need to give this one a look!

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  8. Awesome review as always, amigo. I will check this one out for sure. I love to cozy up with a book like this while hubby is watching TV.

    Squeezes and hugs!

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  9. Becky,
    Well, I just happen to have a copy you can read! :)

    Robyn,
    Thanks so much! Yes, I like to do that too, sort of quality time together, anyway, right?

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  10. I enjoyed this book too. The end was a little abrupt for me but otherwise really great. :O)

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  11. What a sweet cover. Thanks for the review!

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  12. Diane,
    Now that you menti! :)on it, the ending was just right there, wasn't it? But I am very glad it was a good one!

    Theresa,
    The cover is very nice, love the colors! You are most welcome!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  13. Just stopped by one of my favorite places (the library) and pulled a new Christian fiction piece off the shelf and an older fictional book by a non-Christian author.

    And of course, I read your blog. :)

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  14. Rhonda,
    I think you might enjoy this one too! I love the way she writes. :)
    Thanks a bunch for stopping by,
    Karen

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  15. Melanie,
    I know - me too! Love the colors and contrasts, very pretty. :)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  16. Hi Karen -

    Excellent review. This book is next on my TBR pile. I love Julie's books and know this one is another gem.

    Blessings,
    Susan

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!