Holly Weiss's Reviews > The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen
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Dec 06, 2011

it was amazing
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Reliably Fresh Writing

Does reliably fresh sound like an oxymoron? Not when the pen is in Julie Klassen’s hand. She writes twists and secrets into The Maid of Fairbourne Hall to keep us glued to the page. This is stimulating historical fiction with just the right amount of romance.

Margaret has no recourse but to flee when she learns that her stepfather and would-be fiancé are plotting for her inheritance. Think of the culture shock when a London woman of station sneaks out of her home and takes a job as a housemaid. Imagine the emotional shock when she discovers she has been employed in the home of her former suitors! Breathe a sigh of relief with her when she is told that housemaids should be invisible to the family they serve.

Early on in the story, the standard upstairs-downstairs stereotypes are challenged when Margaret’s maid starts giving her orders so that Margaret can escape an unwanted marriage. Once employed at Fairbourne Hall, Margaret risks immediate dismissal because she doesn’t have any idea how to make up a bed. Don’t miss the brush scene. It is priceless. We never know if or when her masquerade will be discovered. All in all, this is great storytelling.

The characters are well fleshed out. Although Margaret fumbles a bit at her identity change, she is a resourceful and multi-faceted character. The balances of trust and suspicion between Margaret and Helen Upchurch work particularly well. Klassen accurately portrays the upstairs/downstairs world so prevalent in the early 18th century Regency class system and inserts some class-busters for interest. In addition, the hierarchy and dynamic among the servants give the book great depth. This reader found the servant world more interesting than the romance.

Julie Klassen has secured a place as a noted author of the Regency period. Unwilling to sit on her laurels, she researches each new book thoroughly. Her many sources are used as epigraphs before each chapter.

Servanthood is a great teacher and appears in many guises throughout The Maid of Fairbourne Hall. Thumbs up for this rewarding read.

Bethany House graciously provided the review copy for my unbiased opinion.

Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Renee Great review! I can't wait to read this!

Holly Weiss Renee wrote: "Great review! I can't wait to read this!"

Thanks, Renee. I found this one especially good.

Renee I just requested it today on PaperBackSwap!!!! Yay!

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