Monday, March 19, 2012

"The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" Review

Regency Romance and Mystery from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen

From the Publisher: To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?

Brimming with romance and danger, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall takes readers inside the fascinating belowstairs world of a 19th-century English manor, where appearances can be deceiving.

To read an excerpt from this book, please click here.

My Take:

Even though one of my favorite books of all time is Jane Eyre, I am not a huge Regency Era/English novel fan. I’ve liked some of those type novels, but the endless names of Lords and Ladies (they have their birth name which is different from their titled name) and servants named Will and Mary just make my head spin.
But The Maid of Fairbourne Hall had a different feel to it. It was still Regency, set in England in 1812, but it wasn’t confusing. There were many characters, but not so many that I felt lost. The story was involved, but not so convoluted that it got ridiculous.
I enjoyed this novel very much. I was immediately drawn to the story – a genteel lady having to hide out and live as a servant – and it only got better from there. I appreciate a good “fish-out-of-water” story, and this one was done very well. The reader gets to see the struggles of the main character, but the entire book isn’t based on that one part of the story.
I enjoyed the growth of the characters in this novel as well. I appreciated Nathaniel’s desire to learn more about God, to grow in his faith, and to do what was right, even when society didn’t agree. I also liked how much Margaret changed through the course of her time as a servant.
My one grievance with this novel was that I felt it was too long. I didn’t necessarily get bogged down, but it did take me longer to get through than I thought it would.
After not really enjoying the previous novel by Julie Klassen (The Silent Governess), I was pleasantly surprised with this one.
I will give The Maid of Fairbourne Hall … 4 BookWorms

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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