I found this book very interesting on many levels. It begins as Hester Blake makes her way to Hebden Hall to work as a lady’s maid to Lady Lucy Fitzmartin, the daughter of the estate owners. This is set in the era of The Wall Street Crash, it’s affects are felt globally and because of this, many large estates have reduced staff and sell off outlying estate lands. The employment of Hester therefore is unusual, but it is a way of Lucy’s parents to trying to keep her on track. Lucy supplements her allowance by writing for periodicals of the time and has a slightly different outlook on life compared to her parents. Hester has a love of books, so there is a natural starting point for a friendship between Hester and Lucy. As their friendship grows so then do their feelings for each other.
Set in the 1930’s in Hebden Hall, London and then Melton Mowbray. An era of The British Union of Fascists, or Blackshirts, with their leader Oswald Mosley and his marches and rallies are in the news. There are divided opinions for his movement and there are often public clashes, during this time the difference of viewpoint is shared between the Lucy and Hester. The story also encompasses several other elements, apart from the political aspects and the romantic side. The difference between class and social structure is addressed, a comparison is drawn via the two women, Lucy and Hester, the differences between upstairs and downstairs, as well as Lucy’s opinion of Hester .
I thought the story was enjoyable, but for me it was the historical side I enjoyed more than the romantic side, the romance was good and well written. I thought the characters of Hester and Lucy were very well-developed, the author managed to portray the condescending attitude that Lucy has towards Hester extremely well, it was a good way of showing the differences between class at the time. Other characters were memorable and had a good range of traits to make them distinctive and identifiable.
This is a book I would recommend to readers of Historical Fiction and Romantic Fiction genres. It was a very enjoyable, well researched and well written read.
I would like to thank HQ Digital UK and NetGalley for my copy of this book and also to Annabel Fielding for bringing it to my attention. My opinion given here is my own, it is honest and unbiased.
A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.
England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.
Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.
Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1099 KB
- Print Length: 384 pages
- Publisher: HQ Digital (9 Aug. 2017)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B072TRSNL3
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