I fell in love with the tv series Downton Abbey. Still catching up on past seasons. And, I must say, for fans of Downton Abbey, LONGBOURN by Jo Baker is sure to please.
LONGBOURN, by Jo Baker, opens with Sarah, the housemaid, pumping ice cold water from the outside pump. It’s barely four thirty in the morning, and she is already up and at em’ so that the ladies of the manor will be able to begin their day with a good warm wash. Even though it’s only September, Sarah’s poor chillblained hands struggle to start the day.
This is the untold story of the servants of that great country house from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: Longbourn. Austin gave us such a rich story of the Bennet family. But what was happening below stairs? What were the lives of the people in waiting really like?
Told with great insight and without mincing words, Jo Baker sets this underworld afire with her imaginings and forthright descriptions of behind the scenes at Longbourn. I, for one, found the story of Sarah and her young man James, to be my favorite part of the novel. It seems almost everyone has a secret in this household, whether up the stairs, or down. And the story kept me turning the pages looking for the answers.
You’ll enjoy the dresses, the parities, and the manor homes themselves. And you’ll love being immersed back in the lives of the Bennet clan, but with added story.
This daring and enthusiastic new novel that takes place in England during the Napoleonic Wars, is sure to lighten your heart and strengthen your reserve to read even more about this time period, and more Austin, for sure.
Book clubs rejoice. This one is perfect for you, as well.
I am sending a big thanks out to the nice people at Knopf Publishing, for they sent me this review copy complete with finished cover!