this book takes us on a trip back in time and allows us to see just what life was like in the 1800's. i love the Jane Austin style/time set and this book is not a disappointment. the story is exciting [sometimes too exciting...i couldn't put it down]! Ha. we are able to see family functioning under the dictates of a society where "looking/being proper" decides how the characters react to any given situation. it is an honest look at "what we see it not always how it really is"... I highly recommend this book. this author never disappoints!
This book had a lot of depth. The immediate problem that Margaret Macy faces, is a devious step-father who wishes to marry her off to his nephew, an equally devious and fortune seeking cad. When she overhears their true intent and the lengths they will go to, she suddenly decides to flee. What ensues is a great ride, as we read about her many struggles, and character changing experiences. This book deals very much with how judging a person for whom we think they are, is not always, the wisest choice, and walking in their shoes can be exceedingly eye-opening. There are many relationships and discoveries which add a lot to this book. The historical details are quite enjoyable, but without being "too much", as I have seen with some other authors who actually go into grotesque detail. My only complaint about this book is that, it ended to abruptly. I do not understand why either authors or editors would believe readers would enjoy not having a little more meat to a happy ending. When Margaret finally gets to be with the man she is meant to, it is all over so quickly. I would have loved to know what happened when she returned to meet with the staff at Fairbourne Hall, and how each of them reacted to her and her "news". Perhaps jumping forward a bit to her new life and the completeness she now felt. A bit about the career her husband decided to pursue for his new future, etc.
4.5 out of 5 stars simply for the abrupt ending and questions I was left with.
Overall, I would recommend this book to a friend.
Included: Reading group questions and a couple of historical notes in the acknowledgement which relate to the story.
I was given this book by a friend and am offering my honest opinion.
It's been months (!!!) since I read The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and I'm just now getting around to posting my review. Ack! Back in March, I said this was "hands down" my favorite read of the month, and I can say in August that this book will make the top 10 list for this year.
Margaret Macy realizes she must leave home to avoid her stepfather's plot to marry her off to a horrible man. As she flees from her home and her pampered lifestyle, she finds work as a maid, hoping that the man of the house will marry her and rescue her from her stepfather. Margaret must hide her identity until the time is right, and in the meantime must learn to be a maid. Will she find the security she longs for at Fairbourne Hall? Or will she learn that some things are more important than fulfilling her own plans?
Julie Klassen is a new-to-me author, and I'm so glad I took a chance on her with The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! Klassen writes with great detailâ€”her research process must be intense!â€”and does a beautiful job of making the setting, characters, and story truly come alive. I loved learning about the life of servants during this period and their relationship with the family. The story was intriguing as well, with enough questions and unknown elements to keep me curious as to the next turn the story would take.
There were a ton of characters in this book, which at times had me backtracking to confirm someone's identity. Overall, though, the life-like characters drew me into the story and I really connected with them. I originally thought that Margaret was going to simply be a spoiled little rich girl. There was so much more to her, though, and I was glad that the author wrote with so much depth and feeling. It helped me be an empathetic reader! Plus, the challenge of writing a character with a dual-identity made for some humorous moments as well.
Thank you, Julie Klassen, for writing one of the best novels I've read all year! [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest review.