Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
Author: Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Historical
Date: 2011

When her sneaky conniving step-father reveals that we will stop at nothing to see her married to his perfectly awful nephew, Margaret Macy knows she must flee to avoid disaster. Disguising herself as a house maid Margaret finds herself in the country desperately trying to get hired for a job she has no training for. When she finally is hired she is taken to Fairborune Hall which to her shock she finds is the country home of two brothers who were former suitors. Lewis whom was easily distracted and Nathaniel whom she rejected two years before.

Those below stairs do not often mix with those above stairs and Margaret is too busy trying to learn the ropes of maid service, a job which her privileged life did not prepare her for. Bells ringing, noses to the wall, brushes to memorize, her mind is filled with remembering all of the rules. She simply has to fake it long enough to make it until her 25th birthday when she will inherit a large sum of money from a deceased aunt.

Nathaniel Upchurch has lived in his handsome older brother's shadows for too long. After being rejected by Miss Macy he shipped himself off to his family's sugar plantation in Barbados. Almost immediately after he returns home he learns of Miss Macy's disappearance and his rebellious heart can not help but long for her and he can not help but wonder what fate she has met with. Charged with regaining control of the family's mismanaged finances Nathaniel makes Fairbourne Hall his home and he can not help but have his eye caught by the mysterious new house maid.

Margaret Macy's step-father will stop at nothing to find her and he indeed scours the entire countryside. The more Margaret tries to remain invisible to him the more she becomes visible to the occupants of Fairborune Hall.  Noticing the strength and depth of Nathaniel she can not believe she rejected him and favored his brother. She finds herself increasingly drawn to him.....

Will Nathaniel discover Margaret's true identity? Will the dread Poet Pirate strike again? Will Margaret be able to remain hidden until her birthday? Will her step-father find her and force her to marry? The questions continue and all are contained inside this excellent read!  

Heralded as a modern day Jane Austen, Julie Klassen writes a riveting story. Classic prose, well developed characters, history, and romance all blend together to make this a joy to read. Fans of Downton Abbey will love the upstairs/downstairs plot. Both sides are written with careful detail, wit, and depth. Klassen throws in just enough mystery, intrigue, and danger to make this a book you'll stay up late reading. She continues to be one of my favorite authors and this does not disappoint. Truly a delight to dive into.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and my friends at Radiant Lit for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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