Published By: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 9th August 2017
A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downton 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…
Annabel Fielding is a member of a group of author and book bloggers I’m a part of on Facebook and she asked for review for this week. I volunteered, then realised I’d already got two book tours booked in this week. Not to worry, I’ve managed to fit everyone in.
After a slow start, I really got into this novel. The development of the characters and plot over the novel is subtle and engaging. The writing is solid and pulls you in to the story. I liked Hester and Sophie, the sisters who have found different ways to live their lives, one following the rules to become a lady’s maid and the other making her own rules, running away to London to become a singer and find fame. Lucy is a very unusual Lady, clearly abused by her parents and desperate for any sense of belonging, denied an education and kept in seclusion, she lives through book and stories.
They fall in love despite their social differences. Hester had a grammar school education and could have gone to college but chose service instead, because of the stories she read. Lucy uses her connections to find writing opportunities, with the Right-wing newspapers, the new Daily Express and The Blackshirt. Her connections later bring her into the orbit of a German archaeologist-diplomat, who helps her get a job with The Daily Mail at a time when Lord Beaverbrook is throwing his support behind Sir Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists.
Hester, through her sister in the East End is seeing a different side to the BUF’s Blackshirts. This brings in conflict between the two lovers, as their different experience and opinions clash in an atmosphere of change and fear for the future as war looms on the horizon.
I recommend this book to those who enjoyed Downton Abbey.