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The Lady's Maid

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  254 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
In the quiet of a warm summer's evening, two young mothers are forced to give up their babies. Whilst Kate grows up knowing only poverty and servitude, Josie's world is one of privilege and luxury.

Despite the differences in their circumstances, Kate and Josie have been friends since childhood. But their past binds them together in ways they must never know.

Until a chance m
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by Arrow
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(showing 1-30)
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Amber Lynn
Nov 08, 2016 Amber Lynn rated it it was amazing
really great book
Sharon Suba
Oct 20, 2016 Sharon Suba rated it did not like it
Got bored after about 30 pages in. Gave up on it.
Steph Dinning
Oct 02, 2016 Steph Dinning rated it it was ok
Normally I can quickly get into a book by Dilly Court but this book just couldn't hold my interest enough to read on...gave up after 115 pages as I was already bored. It's all so slow and no real discernible plot at this stage and the characters are really rather bland.
It may have picked up eventually but with nearly 500 pages I imagine that it would have dragged on for pretty much most of it just to fill the space.
Oct 08, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
Though I am not a big reader of British historical romance novels, there was something about Dilly Court's The Lady's Maid that grabbed my attention. Maybe it was that awesome author's name- Dilly Court; I mean, how can you resist that? Maybe it was the cover, which reminded me of all those paperback books you would see in the racks near the back of the pharmacy at your local drugstore.

Whatever it was, I am so glad I read it. I was captivated from the very beginning, with two young woman, one a
Feb 26, 2014 Darlene rated it really liked it
The Lady’s Maid by Dilly Court is one of those books that you just want to curl up in your favorite chair with. Taking place in the English countryside and full of characters you grow to love this story was a delightful way to spend some time – well a bit of time since it is almost 500 pages but they flew by. The Lady’s Maid is a story of friendship, love, and secrets and truths all combined to make it one good read!

On a dark and lonely night in 1854 two woman give birth to baby girls and are fo
Andrea Guy
I've heard a lot of good things about Dilly Court so I was really excited to give this book a try. This is one of those books that I love and I hate at the same time. I love it because it has a real upstairs, downstairs feel, with the two girls of different stations that are good friends. I also like Dilly's writing style, she's a sweet romance writer and as much as I love a hot spicy romance now and then, I like the sweeter stories when they are period novels.

Both girls haven't a clue that they
Sep 04, 2013 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As naturally as my love of all things British comes, you would think that I would read a lot more British lit than I actually do. These days, I think the most British culture I get is through movies and TV, which is unfortunate for me, especially if the books from across the pond are even half as wonderful as Dilly Court's, The Lady's Maid. As delightfully unique as the author's name, The Lady's Maid is a superb story that's Upstairs, Downstairs, a regency romance, both mixed with a dash of ...more
Aug 25, 2016 Simone rated it did not like it
Really! I don't know what all the fuss was about. This book sucks! I wouldn't say it is poor writing because I would be unfair, but still, it is not the best writing I ever read. Far from it! Hardly fitting the period either. As always with modern authors of historical fiction, they make the grave error of using modern language that is completely off-putting in a period piece. The language must be consistent with not just the period but also the social status of a given character. Not in this ...more
May 06, 2015 Pansy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will say, this book was a bit different. Not the normal run of the mill pomp and grandeur historical romance. There really wasn’t any of that in this. But, there was the class issues: upstairs – downstairs, city – country, gentry – laborers. Then there was the scandal! This book was rift with scandal. Yes, I believe the fans of Downton Abby may get into this one.

The book begins with the delivery of two girls by a gypsy woman. One of the girls is the gypsy’s granddaughter, the other is the dau
Sep 25, 2013 Patty rated it really liked it
I was so looking forward to this book after having read The Best of Daughters. I do thoroughly enjoy Ms. Court's writing style and her magical way of working the most mundane of the workaday into a scene. She makes churning butter and collecting the eggs seem like fun. I was just not as enamored of one of the heroines in this tale - she had little to redeem her and even as she "grew" she grew too little. It's hard to fall in love with a book when you cringe every time a main character makes an ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Gaele rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Two girls, born within hours of one another and sent to different fates: the lowly born child is taken to be raised with the gentry, while the other is raised to a life of servitude. The two are familiar with one another from early on, yet never did they suspect the secrets behind their conception.

Josie was raised in privilege and sadly, that makes for a very distasteful and spoiled character, it is to Court’s credit that she can make such a dislikable character work throughout the story, and n
Feb 20, 2014 Songster rated it liked it
ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of those historical fiction novels that reminded me very strongly of the books I read in high school where I fell in love with this genre. It has lots of action, daring-do, heroes/heroines and villains you love to hate. Two young women give birth on the same night, both to babies born on the wrong side of the blanket. Each child is given to other families who hide the circumstances of their births for very different reasons
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Two young women separated by social class but are the best of friends weather the social constraints of 1800's British society. Both have secrets that are kept from them about their birth, that have the potential to change their lives forever.

Josephine is a stunning woman who is spoiled and willful. She is being raised by members of the gentry, and has come to expect and demand attention and a lifestyle of privilege. Katherine is humble and loyal. She has been raised without money, and knows her
Dec 19, 2015 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book did not work for me personally though there were many good things in it and I'm obviously in the minority so if you're thinking about reading it, don't let me dissuade you.

Likes: It was a compelling enough plot and examination of illegitimate children. That being said there was a lot of times that I thought the plot was needlessly convoluted and plot lines that were completely unnecessary. I really did have to finish it although the rest of the book didn't really work for me. Harry wa
Rachael Burr
Jul 26, 2015 Rachael Burr rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is literally the fastest I've read a book since The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak last year. I chose to read for a least two hours during the day instead of watching television- which is something for me. When I chose to read a book over anything else, it means something.

It tells the tale of two girls who are linked by secrets and lies; Josie Damerell is a spoilt, selfish rich girl who manipulates others to do her bidding no matter what cost to others and Kate Coggins is fair
Sep 23, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
The Lady’s Maid is a great story of friendship and of romance. The story starts with two unwed young mothers in the 19th century. Both are forced to give up their babies due to circumstances. One of the babies born to a Gypsy mother and aristocratic father becomes Josephine (Josie), the daughter of a Baronet. The other, Kate, the daughter of an aristocratic mother and soldier father, becomes the daughter of a servant. The two grow up as fast friends. As young women, they both discover they are ...more
Felicity Gibson
Mar 18, 2014 Felicity Gibson rated it liked it
The Lady’s Maid by Dilly Court.
Read 14th February 2014

Two mothers are forced to give up their babies. One baby grows up in poverty and the other grows up in privilege and luxury. Surprisingly the two children become best friends. This is an Upstairs, Downstairs type of story. It is a Regency romance mixed up with Downton Abbey.
Kate is the maid and Josie the Scarlett O’Hara spoilt lady. Their lives intersect in ways that lead to conflict and heartache. This is a story which is a very authentic pi
Robyn Smith
Apr 20, 2014 Robyn Smith rated it liked it
Quite an interesting take on illigitemacy in 19th century England, where cultural conditioning and class determine the outcomes for two baby girls given away at birth by a Romany gypsy and her daughter.
Despite the gypsy girl being given to a baronet's family and the child of an upper class family being taken in by a poor farmer, the girls grow up near each other and become lifelong friends.
Although this is a typical historical novel in some ways, Court conveys the tedium and back-breaking duties
B.D. Hawkey
Dec 17, 2013 B.D. Hawkey rated it liked it
A ridiculously simplified summary of this book is:- two close friends who fall in love with different men. Throughout the book they fall out with each other and then make-up in a blink of an eye. This happens again and again and again.

Josie’s character reminds me of Scarlett O-Hara - spoilt, determined and self-centered. Kate’s character is the typical “nice” heroine who puts up with her behaviour.

If you enjoy reading about self-centered, spoilt heroines and find them feisty and entertaining, t
Jul 14, 2015 Patsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lords and ladies and secret adoptions

Story covers Dorset England, 1854 -1875 , life of 2 secret adopted girls who share a birth day. I enjoyed this book and I usually don't read English history stories. Great detail as to the living conditions of serpents, farm labor's. Time of arranged marriages, poverty, mental illness, secret adoptions, castles, and gypsies. In the Lord and ladies houses are drama and secrets. Estates were handed down to next living male. That person decided your fate for res
Nov 19, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasant fluff

Sometimes you just want to read fluff. Or at least I do. This fit the bill: a princess and the pauper fairytale, as it were, with evil uncles and stepmother, two foundlings, honorable men (and a few dishonorable ones), and a story that rockets between country estates and London's East End, and a happy ending, of course. This was a good "guilty pleasure" historical romance, as tasty and insubstantial as a box of chocolates.
Emma Elias
Jan 25, 2016 Emma Elias rated it did not like it
Shelves: my-bookshelf
this book just didnt work for me, it started off really promising and then about half way through i was struggling to get through, there were a lot of unnecessary descriptions and it just made me uncomfortable. One of the main characters was incredibly annoying and the rest were pretty unsteady. I dont think I would recomend it.
Apr 28, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
The Lady's Maid is another good read by Dilly Court. I thought it had a lot of surprises that I did not see coming. I liked both characters, Kate and Josie. I loved how these two women grew in the book. Though The Lady's Maid is not near as good as The Best of Daughters, I still believe it's a must read. 4 1/2 stars.
Dec 03, 2016 Colleen rated it really liked it
It was a fun read. I read it on the airplane. At some point, before the end of book, I felt like I had figured out the ending, which is sort of a fairy tale ending (I am not opposed to that). There is no offensive language, sex, or violence. My kind of book. I would think a teen age girl would enjoy reading this book.
Aug 31, 2015 Meggie marked it as did-not-finish
The plot just felt endlessly convoluted. I read to about a third of the way through, skipped ahead to Chapter Twenty, and skimmed until the end. Josie was the worst, but on the other end of the spectrum Kate was unbelievably good. DNF.
Xondra Day
Oct 28, 2015 Xondra Day rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I loved it! I really enjoyed Kate, but I did not like Josie who was nothing more than a selfish brat and manipulator. Even in the end, I didn't feel she redeemed herself.

Dilly Court is a new author to me, but I will definitely read more of her books.
Natalie Pounder
Nov 02, 2014 Natalie Pounder rated it really liked it
Liked this story but the story ended to quickly. It left alot of questions unanswered. Does josie win back sams heart? and does kate get her happy ever after?. For me there needs to be a sequel to this story.
Anthony L
Jan 18, 2015 Anthony L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another beautiful, fast-moving historical romance story from one of my favourite authors. Really like Kate and Josie, the two main characters, born on the same day and growing up as friends, even though they were secretly placed at birth into classes different to their true family backgrounds.
Syrie James
Apr 11, 2014 Syrie James rated it it was ok
A sweet story of friendship and romance. Although I loved Kate and was invested in her story, I found Josie irritating, and some parts of the plot were predictable. I really enjoyed the time period and the writing, though, so look forward to reading the author's other books.
Jan 04, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Great read. Finished it in one day because I just couldn't put it down. Once into the story, I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 05, 2015 10:14AM  
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Dilly Court grew up in North-east London and began her career in television, writing scripts for commercials. She is married with two grown-up children and four grandchildren, and now lives in Dorset on the beautiful Jurassic Coast with her husband. She is the author of seventeen novels and also writes under the name of Lily Baxter.
More about Dilly Court...

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