The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

Margaret Macy needs independence, and she’ll get it by way of an inheritance  if she remains unwed until her 25th birthday. But when the dangerous oppression of her stepfather threatens her well being, Margaret flees London disguised as a maid. Without realizing it, she takes a position in the home of a former suitor and spends much of her time trying to escape recognition. With her stepfather offering a reward for her whereabouts, Margaret can’t trust anyone. And the one person she thought she could trust isn’t who she thought he was.

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall takes historical fiction beyond the fluff you often find on Christian bookstore shelves. Thick with research and history, Klassen’s latest book raises the bar. Her other stories have been compared to Jane Austen, but this one, especially, reminds the reader of Austen’s complex characters and more-than-just-romantic plots. Though, in true Austin style, romance is key in this story. And the mystery surrounding the duel near the end adds another layer of conflict that makes this book a must-read for anyone who enjoys—or might enjoy—regency fiction.

I really fell for the characters in this book—especially Margaret. I loved seeing the change in her character as her circumstances made her face her own selfishness and prejudice. I found myself wanting to know more about Margaret and the other characters—one book just wasn’t enough. Here’s to hoping Klassen writes about Fiona (one of the other servants) in the future!

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review. My opinion of this book is my own and was not influenced by the publisher or author.


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