- Title: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
- Author: Julie Klassen
- Series: N/A
- Genre(s): Inspirational, Historical
- Publisher: Bethany House, January 2012
- Purchase: Amazon, $8.99
- Tropes: Disguised as a Servant, Reunited, Pirates
- Quick blurb: Rich girl fleeing icky arranged marriage hides out as a housemaid in former suitor’s home.
- Quick review: A valiant, yet ultimately unsuccessful, attempt at a predictable plot.
- Grade: C
I’m not one for the fangirl “OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS” stuff, but Julie Klassen’s books have tempted me to engage in some literary peer pressure. “It’s not a preachy inspirational, trust me!”
I was drawn to her books by the intriguing titles, beautiful covers and well-written blurbs, and all four of her previous novels exceeded my expectations. I’ve read them all several times, and I still can’t decide between The Silent Governess and The Apothecary’s Daughter for my DIK list.
I had The Maid of Fairbourne Hall on my “yay coming soon!!!” wishlist for months and bought it the day it came out. But then it lingered in Mount TBR for another few months because, oddly enough, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. I call it “Book Anxiety,” which I may write an essay or treatise about sometime.
ANYWAY, I’m not sure if it was the title, the blurb or the cover that made me anxious….
Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt—and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?
Observing both brothers as an “invisible” servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?
On her journey from well-born lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of “serve one another in love.”
I did a mental “huh?” double-take when I saw the “disguised as a servant” trope, and after reading – well, score one for the Book Anxiety.