It’s funny… I usually keep looking to the front cover of a book while reading it in order to better-picture the heroine throughout her times and trials—but not so with this book. While reading The Maid of Fairbourne Hall I kept looking to the back cover. For on the cover of the book, as well as throughout most of the story, Margaret Macy is disguised as a housemaid and going by the name of Nora Garrett. It was usually from the once-spurned, yet ever-loving, Nathaniel Upchurch’s perspective that I was trying to visualize Margaret as the blond beauty on the back of the book.
I’ve been looking forward to reading The Maid of Fairbourne Hall for a very long time because I always enjoy reading any book by Julie Klassen. There were so many things I liked about this book; it might be difficult to remember to mention everything. The only thing that that only kind of bothered me was that it seemed to have a rather slow start. But I pressed on because of its high rating on Goodreads and the fact that many of my author/reader friends gave it such high marks. I liked that there were only two perspectives—Margaret Macy and Nathaniel Upchurch. No villains, no secondary characters—just the two people who the book was really about.
Julie Klassen is an excellent writer when it comes to writing the kind of book I love to read.... and write. It used to bother me a great deal when I would read books by authors who seem to be on the same wavelength as me. It’s happened before with Julie Klassen, as well as with books written by Elizabeth Camden, Siri Mitchell and Jody Hedlund. There’s just something sometimes that reminds me of the books I’ve written myself (although my agent and I are just starting our quest for a publisher for my first book this week). I try to see this as a good thing—that I’m thinking up the kinds of plots and situations that sell. But still, I don’t want anyone to ever read my book and think I took my ideas from them. My characters “tell me” what’s going on in their lives, emotions and circumstances... and I simply write them down in my writerly voice.
I can tell Julie Klassen is very in tune with her characters. They are very well-developed, very real-feeling people coming alive on the page. Her plots are full of hard decisions and difficult situations, all the while being believable, and as always, so incredibly interesting. I am so happy I decided to stick through the first few chapters. It was well worth it.
I borrowed Julie Klassen’s The Maid of Fairbourne Hall from my local library... even kept it days overdue in order to finish it... and give it 5 stars. I recommend all of Julie Klassen’s books, especially if you love books set during England’s Regency Era and anything Jane Austen-like (as I do).