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Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Paperback – Jan 1 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (Jan. 1 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764207091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764207099
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

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.

Discussion questions included.

About the Author

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She won a 2010 Christy Award, a 2011 Midwest Book Award, and was a finalist at the 2010 RITA Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the second book I read by Julie Klassen, and just as in the first book The Silent Governess, I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction story.

When Margaret Macy's stepfather wants to marry her off to his nephew so that her inheritance--due on her twenty-fifth birthday only three months away--would be within reach of his greedy hands, she flees disguised as a housemaid. She never really planned on working as a servant but ends up doing just that and in the home of her former suitor and admirer Nathaniel Upchurch. As her stepfather's search closes in and she struggles to keep her identity from the master of the house, Margaret learns a great deal from her life as a lady to one of a housemaid.

Klassen weaves a great story, especially because our main character gets to experience the belowstairs world of a 19th-century English manor. It's gruelling work. I cringed when she had to enter the rooms of the male family members in the early morning to empty out “the slops” of their chamber pot, pick up their discarded clothes and light the fire in the grate. Only a determined and impulsive young woman like Margaret put up with and learned from her servitude as she waited to claim her inheritance and thus be free from her stepfather's constraints to marry a man she did not love or want.

Klassen builds the story well, and we get to appreciate the characters as they grow and change. Klassen brings alive the world of upstairs, downstairs and she writes confidently of that era with knowledge. I particularly liked and appreciated the quotes at the beginning of every chapter taken from the literature of that time. It precluded what the chapter would reveal, and I sometimes found myself going back to the quote after I read the chapter and smiling at the application.
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Format: Paperback
When you dwell on a set of characters long after the story has been read and the book put back on the shelf, and then you start counting the days until you can pick it up and re-read it...that's a great book. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is such a book.

Margaret Macy, the spoiled and selfish daughter of a dead Vicar, isn't my normal cup of tea. It was the stepfather that first caught my attention ~ as well as my imagination. Ms. Klassen weaved a well thought out plot with plenty of twists and turns, as well as sub-plots; all without missing a beat or having too much in one story. The characters I thought I was going to like? I didn't. The characters I thought I wouldn't like? I did. Capturing my attention almost from the first page, I left laundry in the dryer, dirty dishes in the sink, and even allowed this book to steal some precious hours of much-needed sleep.

This is my first Klassen novel. It won't be my last as she managed to gain the attention of this non-historical reading person and pull me into a world where her characters refuse to let me go.

Well done!
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book. It was a good read and the characters were all very well done and likable. Although at first, I disliked Margaret. She wasn't that likable in the beginning and acted more like a spoiled brat who took a lot of things for granted. However, Margaret also provided for the most developed character in the book and it was nice to see her grow and become a much better person. I enjoyed reading her experience as a housemaid (mostly comical, sometimes I felt sorry for her).

The main couples 'to be' in this book suited each other very well. They were paired each other nicely, they sure had the chemistry all figured out but what was nice was when they were finally together. It made the ending of the novel a nice sweet one. The plot on the other hand was well done, I liked the amount of historical detail was made to make the plot much more authentic and realistic. I'm glad Julia Klassen took the time to make this book with as much historical detail as possible it made the reading experience much more fun.

The only thing I didn't like about the book was towards the end, the plot slowed a bit, and there was a mystery added that was interesting, but it just felt like it dragged the rest of the plot as well. However it did have a nice ending as I mentioned earlier and overall the book was good so I'd say this is just a minor issue.

I'd recommend this to historical fiction lovers, the contrast between servant and high society is definitely mentioned and you follow Margaret in seeing the vast differences between the two. It's most definitely worth the read.
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Format: Paperback
Julie Klassen, you are amazing! Mystery and intrigue, danger, a touch of romance, all set in an intriguing historical setting and time period - this novel has it all! I challenge any reader to pick up this book and be able to put it down any time soon, because the beginning is sure to captivate you and hold you prisoner as you race to the end. Margaret's run from the danger facing her in her own home is completely fascinating as she becomes immersed in the role of a housemaid, one utterly foreign to her. I couldn't help but smile as she had to face the horrors of emptying a chamber pot, and got a first-hand look into the difficulties of being a maid - along with the sudden realization of how she'd failed to treat her own maid with respect. Her character is sure to endear herself to you and by the end of the book you will be cheering her on. I found that the romance aspect was handled perfectly without being over the top, and as such the book is sure to appeal to a large crowd. I won't be surprised if Klassen garners further award nominations for this one!

I enjoyed this book immensely and give it my highest recommendation of 5 out of 5 stars. Readers who have enjoyed previous books from Klassen will be mesmerized by her latest, and those who love historical fiction but have never read one of her books are in for a pleasant surprise.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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