Longbourn - Jo Baker
Author: Jo Baker
Challenges: Jane Austen, Historical Fiction
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary
Source: Public Library
Description: The servants at Longbourn estate--only glancingly mentioned in Jane Austen's classic--take centre stage in Jo Baker's lively, cunning new novel. Here are the Bennets as we have never known them: seen through the eyes of those scrubbing the floors, cooking the meals, emptying the chamber pots. Our heroine is Sarah, an orphaned housemaid beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When the militia marches into town, a new footman arrives under mysterious circumstances, and Sarah finds herself the object of the attentions of an ambitious young former slave working at neighboring Netherfield Hall, the carefully choreographed world downstairs at Longbourn threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, up-ended. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: A funny thing happens sometimes when I like a book, I sometimes am unable to express how I feel about a book through words. But I can say that I really did enjoy reading the book. Of course there were aspects of the book that I didn't like and felt that certain things didn't really work with the book, at least until I was able to make sense of them. I suppose the one thing that did work was that Wickham in the book was able to be shown with his true colours and was interesting to see his portrayal through Sarah's eyes, rather than through Lizzie's eyes. It does offer an interesting perspective on life as a servant in world about 100 years prior to the start of Downton Abbey.
Bottom line: While there are things that I didn't like about this book, I felt that it was a really good complement to Pride & Prejudice and would recommend it to fans of Pride & Prejudice. Recommended.
Pages for 2013: 16, 528