A brilliantly imagined, irresistible below-stairs answer to
Pride and Prejudice: a story of the romance, intrigue and
drama among the servants of the Bennet household, a triumphant tale
of defying society''s expectations, and an illuminating glimpse of
working-class lives in Regency England.
The servants at Longbourn estate--only glancingly mentioned in Jane
Austen''s classic--take centre stage in Jo Baker''s lively, cunning
new novel. Here are the Bennets as we have never known them: seen
through the eyes of those scrubbing the floors, cooking the meals,
emptying the chamber pots. Our heroine is Sarah, an orphaned
housemaid beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class.
When the militia marches into town, a new footman arrives under
mysterious circumstances, and Sarah finds herself the object of the
attentions of an ambitious young former slave working at
neighboring Netherfield Hall, the carefully choreographed world
downstairs at Longbourn threatens to be completely, perhaps
irrevocably, up-ended. From the stern but soft-hearted housekeeper
to the starry-eyed kitchen maid, these new characters come vividly
to life in this already beloved world. Jo Baker shows us what Jane
Austen wouldn''t in a captivating, wonderfully evocative, moving
work of fiction.