Tuesday, January 21, 2014
However, give me a novel with an interesting premise, and I'll be right there.
Longbourn by Jo Baker is Pride and Prejudice from the servants' point of view. Definitely interesting enough to perk my interest. And it's a really, really good read.
There's lots of descriptions of laundry day and of the working lives of Mr and Mrs Hill, and the housemaids Sarah and Polly. Their lives are ordered and quiet - and busy - until new footman James Smith starts working at Longbourn.
James sets the cat among the pigeons in the best and worst way, especially for Sarah.
I liked it, I liked it a lot. It has a lovely, cosy feel to it, and the characters are all very well-realised, especially Sarah the housemaid, who is striving for something more.
Baker's take on some of the main Pride and Prejudice characters is interesting, as minor players as they are in Longbourn - especially the unfortunate Mr Collins, who she presents in an unexpectedly sympathetic light.
But Longbourn belongs to the servants, Sarah in particular, and Mrs Hill, in a peculiar way.
A very pleasant and pleasing read. :-)