Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Writer's Review of “The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" by Julie Klassen


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 Klassens 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 Klassens books, especially if you love books set during Englands Regency Era and anything Jane Austen-like (as I do).  

1 comment:

Sheri Salatin said...

I cannot wait to read that book. :) I have heard so much about it.
It's really cool in a way that you have authors that resonate with you. It gives you an idea of your style and flavor of stories that you write as well as want to read. Write on! :)

I don't think you should worry about people thinking you are taking your ideas from other authors. Even if you did, your story would be different. Each one of us is so different it would be impossible to write just the same. :)
Keep it up!