If you love Downton Abbey, you will love The Maid of Fairbourne Hall. I promise.
Margaret Macy is a spoiled, shallow young lady in London who flees her home when she overhears that her stepfather is threatening to marry her off to a dishonorable man. Fleeing, she seeks the help of Joan, her former housemaid who is less than thrilled to have her snobbish employer stepping on her heels. Disguised with a dark wig, glasses and housemaid’s uniform, Margaret finds herself at Fairbourne Hall in the employ of two of her former suitors who also happen to be brothers: boring and reliable Nathaniel Upchurch; and adventurous and charming Lewis Upchurch. Never has Margaret been on the opposite end of the social spectrum and she struggles with the responsibility of being a lowly housemaid.
I will admit, in the beginning, I didn’t like Margaret. She was shallow and exasperating. But as the story developed, I came to love Margaret as the young girl matured into a woman of integrity. Throughout her “employment” at Fairbourne Hall, Margaret has a “coming-of-age” experience. She learns that in the place of her shallow lifestyle, she now has substance and purpose. Instead of her disparaging attitude, she now possesses compassion and forgiveness. The ending will leave you with a big “siiigggghhhhhhhhh”.
If you’re wondering how The Lady of Fairbourne Hall (FH) is similar to the extremely popular PBS series Downton Abbey (DA) here is a list to show you the similarities and divergences:
1) There is a definite “upstairs” and “downstairs” mentality throughout the FH that is similar to that of DA.
2) In FH, there are lords, ladies, lady’s maids, housemaids, a bubbly head cook, service staff: all reminiscent of DA.
3) FH is set in the year of 1815, 97 years earlier than the start of the DA series. Crazy as it seems, the century difference in time made very little difference how an estate like Fairbourne Hall was managed.
4) In my mind at least, Fairbourne Hall is as big and as glamorous as Downton Abbey. I would LOVE to get lost in either.
5) A lot of the characters in FH remind me quite a bit of DA’s characters. Here are some direct comparisons that I found:
- Housemaids: DA’s O’Brien to FH’s Betty Tidy
- Head Housekeeper: DA’s Mrs. Hughes to FH’s Mrs. Budgeon
- Butler: DA’s Mr. Carson to FH’s Mr. Arnold
- Hero of the series/book: DA’s Matthew Crawley to FH’s Nathaniel Upchurch
For those of us who love (ie: addicted to) Downton Abbey, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall has everything to get you through until next January when Season 3 starts: secrecy, society, mystery, love and sacrifice. Julie Klassen has such a talent for composing a story set two centuries ago and making it feel as if we are there with Miss Macy as we devour the book. I will definitely be looking forward to Julie Klassen’s future novels. I definitely have another “favorite” author to add to my list. This was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It has earned a spot on my to be read again and again and again list.
If you would like to WIN a paperback copy of “The Lady of Fairbourne Hall” leave your NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS in the comments below.
One entry per email address and I will draw a winner on Sunday evening, March 11th!
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen | “Downton Abbey” and Kindle Fire Giveaway, Facebook Party and Blog Tour
Don’t miss the perfect blend of Regency-era romance and mystery in The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! Grab a copy and then be sure to enter Julie’s Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVP for her Author Chat party on Facebook! Swoon.
One fortunate winner will receive:
- A brand new Kindle Fire
- A Julie Klassen Library (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/14/12. Winner will be announced at Julie’s Fairbourne Hall Book Chat Party on 3/15. Julie will be hosting an evening of chat, trivia and a sneak peek of her next book – bring your friends! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books and a Downton Abbey Prize Pack (Seasons 1 and 2)!
So grab your copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and join Julie and friends on the evening of March 15th for a book chat party.
I received a copy of “The Lady of Fairbourne Hall” from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, just an honest one.
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com