Published: August 9th 2017 by HQ Digital
Read Date: November 21st 2017
A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown 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…
A Pearl For My Mistress was a historical romance with political movements and life of upper class ladies and their involvement in it. It was all about gossips, scandal, political ploy, and forbidden relationship. Book was set in 1930s era of London and Nothumberland narrated alternatively by main characters Lucy, Hester and her sister Sophie.
Lady Lucy– she was a weak caged bird with strong, ambitious demeanor desperate to spread her wings and write a name in history. Dark childhood event tainted her soul with lifelong fear of nonexistence and hunger for power and position. She was interesting character to follow in the book. I liked her in the beginning and even felt empathetic for her but in later part of the story she turned totally different and opposite than I thought.
Hester– She was sensible, caring, and loyal Lady’s maid. She was total opposite of Lady Lucy, never interested in politics and gossips. I liked her for sticking to her morals in all situation. I liked her love and concern regarding Sophie safety, but at the same time it felt like she was missing her point on ambitions and dream. It took me long to understand this character, first I felt like she was over caring and panicky but later I understood her concerns and at the end I like Hester.
Sophie had quite a role in the book as Hester’s sister and also gave background on struggle of living in East end of London.
Writing was amazing and very different. It gave the feel of classic books. Sentences and usage of words were so royal. I was lost in golden writing like Hester in this book.
First half of the book was brilliant. I enjoyed reading picturesque description of Hebden Hall and lavish hotels, ball dance and dresses. This part was all about Lucy’s childhood and her life in Henden Hall which was touching heartfelt story, Hester’s history and her growing relationship with Lucy. It was most important part in book to know about Lucy and Hester and as story progressed the understanding about this character was getting clearer.
Another thing I loved in first half was Hester’s love for reading and books and Lucy’s passion of writing articles. The poetic phrases during the conversations was beautifully narrated.
Second half of the book was little difficult for me to process. Whole political thing was new to me. I didn’t know about all the facts during this era mentioned in this part of the book. It was heavy with Hunger march, Cinema disaster and Blackshirt rallies, and fascism. I almost googled everything to know it better. So, book was slow for me and all conspiracy and plotting made it even harder to understand this aspect. But I got the basic picture of all these thing by the end of the book.
It was focused more on Lucy’s involvement in political affairs and less on her relationship with Hester. Their clashing view and sinking boat of relationship made the book spicy and dramatic.
Climax was surprising and like the way book ended. Still I wanted to know more about later part of the story specifically about Lucy.
I liked all to reads about maid’s life in 1930s in this book. Reference books author mentioned in author’s note at the end sounds interesting and I’m going to look at it later and might read this book again to get clearer picture. It also showed how well researched this story was.
Little slow and as I was not aware of historical facts it was hard to understand for me. But it was just me not book.
As I said with little more knowledge on this political history would made it easier to understand.
Overall, book was different and interesting right from writing to concept. those who love to read historical romance and political things would love this book.
Author: Annabel Fielding
Know more about author Here.
*** Note: I received review copy of the book from the author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I got a chance to read this book. ***
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Happy Reading! 🙂