The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
Julie Klassen has written a clever book that incorporates what readers love of Jane Austen, Downton Abbey and even a bit of Jane Eyre. The novel offers everything a historical romance reader looks for, and I was sad to let these fun characters go. Margaret Macy’s once spoiled life takes a turn for the worse after her father dies and her evil stepfather wants to take control of her inheritance. She impulsively runs away and finds herself becoming a maid in a household where two former suitors reside, Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch.
Margaret, masquerading as Nora, mimics the servants’ mannerisms and dons a wig to hide her identity, eventually finding an unexpected accomplice in the sister at Fairbourne Hall. Margaret matures as she is able to realize how blessed her life once was and acknowledges the hard life of a servant, as well as the missed opportunity with Nathaniel. However, the disappearance of Margaret from the social set causes a stir, forcing her out of hiding. Is there hope that the right Upchurch brother could rescue Margaret? The atmosphere of the below-stairs servants administering to the upper crust, along with historical quotes annotating each chapter, make this an entertaining and inspiring read.