This one is going to be filed under “never judge a book by it’s cover.” Confession: this one sat on my shelf for literally years after my sister passed it along to me. The only reason I finally read it was because I ran out of stuff to read before Christmas and had depleted my book budget! I should have trusted my sister - this book was amazing!
You can’t really tell from the cover illustration, but this book is set in the Regency period (ie Jane Austen). What sets this book apart from most Regency fiction, is that it gives us an up close view of the life “belowstairs” as wealthy Margaret Macy is forced to hide in plain view as a maid in order to avoid marriage to a dishonorable man. As Margaret learns the realities of life as a servant, she is forced to grow in both physical strength and character.
What makes the book all the more riveting is where Margaret ends up being hired as a servant: the home of the Upchurch brothers, both of whom are former suitors. Margaret turned down a proposal from the younger, less handsome and exciting Nathaniel Uphurch years earlier after becoming enamored of the handsome and charming older brother, Lewis. As Margaret observes them in the silent role of housemaid, she begins to think she misjudged both brothers. Lewis is your typical Regency scoundrel while Nathaniel . . . well, Nathaniel is right up there with Mr. Darcy, in my opinion.
Julie Klassen weaves a story of both romance within the complicated social mores of the Regency era with the intrigue of duels, schemes for inheritances, and even piracy. Above all, we, along with Margaret Macy, get an education in the often ignored toil of the working class during this era and the universal truth that all humanity deserves to be treated with value and respect. I am eager to read more of her books!
I am a former English teacher turned homeschool mom of three who writes Christian romance novels on the side. You know, in my huge amount of spare time.