Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall Book Review

I have a lovely book to tell you guys about today called The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen. As is my custom like to give you parts of what was either written on the back cover or on the inside and then give you my opinion of how I saw this book.
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 Fishbourne Hall takes readers inside the fascinating belowstairs world of a 19th century English manor, where appearances can be deceiving.
Margaret will inherit her fortune when she turns 25 but her stepfather, Sterling Benton intends to make sure that he gets most of it. He persuades his nephew Marcus Benton to go after Margaret and get her to marry him. When Margaret finds this out, she flees the house and ends up at Nathaniel & Lewis Upchurch's home. She has covered her blonde hair with a black wig and cap. She also darkens her eyebrows with kohl.

What is interesting is that at one time, Margaret actually interested in both men! It was Nathaniel who especially liked Margaret. Lewis was the kind of man who wanted a woman, any woman would do for him. Margaret became very close with the men's sister, Helen. Which was a mistake because before long Helen figures out who she really is and so does Nathaniel. But he never lets on to her that he knows who she is and neither does Helen.

One day Lewis is shot by a masked man and almost dies. All of his family and servants are puzzled as to why this happened. It all comes to light when the stable boy Connor was caught trying to finish Lewis off. Margaret asks him why does he want to kill his master and he replies it is because of the way that Lewis treated his 16 year old sister. When Lewis is well enough to travel, Nathaniel sends him back to Barbados where their father is living on a plantation.

This is where the book picks up and really starts to get interesting and that is why I am stopping. I don't like telling the whole story because it leaves you no incentive or imagination to want to read the book. I think you will like the ending and it does have a few surprises in store for you. This was a great story about family, love, the trials of life and what we make of them. Margaret will become your "new" best heroine. I know she was mine as I kept thinking don't let nothing bad happen, even though I knew it was only a book, I still wanted it to all come out and be a huge fairy tale love story. It does but not in the fashion that you might think that it should but you will be rooting for your own personal characters and that is really what reading is all about!

About Julie:

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

For more information, visit Julie Klassen

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. Mary Bearden and her cranky camera took the photo used in this review.


Catherine Lee said...

What a nice review. Margaret sounds like such an interesting character--a strong woman trying to avoid a life that is dictated by others, by men.

catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Julie Klassen said...

Hope you enjoy the book, Catherine. And thanks for the review, Mary!