Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Rebecca Reads: Longbourn by Jo Baker
I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice, so my reading Longbourn was inevitable. This is book is an imagined retelling of Pride and Prejudice, from the servants' point of view. If you've ever heard of or watched Upstairs/Downstairs, this would be about the downstairs crew. ;) The story revolves around Sarah, one of the housemaids at Longbourn. There is one other housemaid, the head housekeeper and her husband.
Starting right off, a new (slightly mysterious) footman named James is hired at Longbourn. Sarah is equal amounts of intrigued and put off. She suspects he has a past, and she can't quite figure out his motives for being at Longbourn. His arrival stirs up some emotions in Sarah that have been brewing some time, because she wants to have exactly what the Bennett girls want as well. She wants to have a future with someone she loves, and she wants to feel secure.
Sarah's story line parallels the upheaval that the downstairs is in, what with the Bennett family lacking an heir. Before I read this book, I had not considered how many people Mr. Bennett's lack of an heir affected. The head housekeeper is in a constant fit, because she wants to impress whoever might be her new boss. She had such an amusing personality, and I really liked her. Overall, I really enjoyed this. I had never imagined what the rest of Longbourn looks like, and this was a totally fun read.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Pride and Prejudice. I think reading P&P adds to this book. If you want to read Longbourn but haven't read Pride and Prejudice, I would read P&P first!