Longbourn

Paperback | June 17, 2014

byJo Baker

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The servants take center stage in this irresistibly imagined below-stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice.
     While Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters fuss over balls and husbands, Sarah, their orphaned housemaid, is beginning to chafe against her situation in life. And when a mysterious footman arrives at Longbourn, the orderly realm of the servants' hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.
     Jo Baker reveals lives mentioned only fleetingly in Jane Austen's classic novel that has captivated the hearts of readers around the world for generations, daring to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Regency England into a vivid, fascinating, fully realized new world.

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From the Publisher

The servants take center stage in this irresistibly imagined below-stairs answer to Pride and Prejudice.      While Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters fuss over balls and husbands, Sarah, their orphaned housemaid, is beginning to chafe against her situation in life. And when a mysterious footman arrives at Longbourn, the orderly realm of...

JO BAKER was born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford University and Queen's University Belfast. She is the author of The Undertow, and of 3 earlier novels published in the United Kingdom: Offcomer, The Mermaid's Child and The Telling. She lives in Lancaster.

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A Country Road, A Tree

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see all books by Jo Baker
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 7.94 × 5.18 × 0.78 inPublished:June 17, 2014Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345813618

ISBN - 13:9780345813619

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not Austen but still good This was a good read, and I would recommend it to others on one condition: Don't expect it to be written in the Austen style. Baker did a wonderful job bringing Longbourn to life and showing the more realistic and grim aspects of life in Austen's world. But I couldn't help but feel she missed the heart of the characters(excepting mr. collins whom she captured perfectly) as they all, including Elizabeth come off as vapid and spoiled. I honestly feel like she could have given the characters different names, and and I would not have recognized it. But that's the risk of taking a story that's so beloved and adding to it. It's a risk however that paid off, after all I likely would not have picked it up if not for the connection, and still I enjoyed it. The characters that Baker created (or in other words brought out of obscurity) were written wonderfully. Sarah is exactly what I imagined a girl in her situation would be, and the others are vibrant if not tragic. So if you plan to pick this book up just be ready to see the time period as it really was, rather than the dream Austen makes it out to be.
Date published: 2015-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! Absolutely love this book! Would recommend to fans of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice!
Date published: 2015-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very pleasant surprise! Another reviewer acknowledged what we all know: this concept was an accident waiting to happen. BUT, Longbourn turned out to be a lovely way to revisit Austen's world without tainting it in any way. Moving focus just to the side of the original action, Baker has constructed a world that is rich, interesting, and completely respectful of the cherished classic. This new(ish) story is an enhancement to its inspiration. A really enjoyable read!
Date published: 2015-06-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from This is a great add-on to Pride & Prejudice! 3.5 stars Let's just be honest and say that this book could have been really bad. I always find that whenever a new book comes out and tries to capture the magic atmosphere of a classic, it usually always ends up failing. I've read a fair few of the sequels to Jane Austen's original works and I didn't like any of them, but LONGBOURN totally captivated me! It starts off as quite a slow read and at first I didn't think I was going to like it. Thankfully, though, the book seemed to have picked up at the half-way point and from there, I just couldn't put it down. LONGBOURN focuses on the Bennets' servants and their trials and tribulations, which prove to be very engrossing. I really connected to each main character below-stairs and ended up hating a few of the wealthy characters that Austen made so popular with her release of Pride & Prejudice. The backstories of the servants were amazingly fleshed-out and the pace of the book was just right. If you're a lover of Austen's original work, then you should definitely pick LONGBOURN up! Chances are, you'll really enjoy reading it!
Date published: 2015-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from If you are craving more Austen... As a Jane Austen fan, I was worried I would be disappointed by this book somehow, but thankfully just the opposite was true. It is a great read and a story all it's own. Even if you aren't familiar with Pride and Prejudice (shame on you... ;) ) but maybe are a fan of someone like Kate Morton or the show Downton Abbey - you will definitely enjoy this book!
Date published: 2014-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great compliment to a classic I loved the book pride and prejudice and I loved reading this complimentary book. You do not need to have read the Jane Austen classic but it was fun to essentially reread a condensed version of it all over again while reading Longbourn. I wanted to know the end and enjoyed the classic story that was put together, reminding us of all the behind the scenes work that so many did for the well off in that time. A pleasant read that I would highly recommend
Date published: 2014-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A surprising perspective As I am drawn to all things Austen related, I bought Longbourn wanting to immerse myself in that world once again. This book is a wonderful addition to the Austen world, but it works wonderfully as a stand alone story with vivid characters and a compelling plot. Longbourn offers such a different perspective on the well known characters; it brings the reader into the demanding and hardworking lives of those who live downstairs as they face their own crises and choices. A great read!
Date published: 2014-07-08

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Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLERINTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER"[A]n elegantly executed twist on the celebrated story. Carefully crafted. It has as much suspense, drama and romance as any Austen fan could hope for, coupled with a smart social commentary on the injustice of poverty and class in 19th century England." —Chatelaine "The lives of the 99 percent are described in all of its skin-chafing glory. Baker gives [Sarah and the people like her] their chance to live on the page that should engross both neophyte and veteran Austen readers alike." —Maclean's