If you’re looking for something to tide you over while you wait for the start of Season 4 of Downton Abbey, may I suggest reading or listening to Longbourn by Jo Baker. The novel is the story of servants who live “across the pond” with another famous family, the Bennets of Pride and Prejudice fame. The story is set in at the turn of the 19th century and follows along with the timeline of Austen’s book but it is the story of the servants that takes center stage– Sarah, the maid who has been with the family since she was a young child; Mr. & Mrs. Hill, the elderly butler and his head housekeeper wife, and little Polly who assists as much as a young child can. A love triangle ensues as James Smith, a mysterious footman is hired by the family while Sarah has eyes for Mr. Bingely’s footman, the worldly and exotic Ptolemy . In the midst of this story, we learn more about the the daily drudgery of the chores and life at the Bennet household. The storyline from Pride and Prejudice does come into play as we meet the main characters and see the servant’s impressions of them. Although some reviews say it didn’t tie in enough with Austen’s book, I was happy with the way the two stories meshed.
Welcome to Newburgh Free Library’s blog Inspirations: a blog for readers and viewers.
At the Newburgh Free Library we would like to connect our community to the books and movies we love as well as get feedback from you on the books and movies that you love and want to share with others.
Of course we plan on introducing new titles that are coming out on the shelves at NFL, but we also hope to connect you with a hidden gem or two – things that you might not have discovered on your own. At our new blog, look forward to reading about staff picks, patron picks, nonfiction, mystery, and the newest in street fiction. It’s all up for discussion in Inspirations.
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