Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Julie Klassen is the 21st century's Jane Austen! (CFBA Tour)

Posted by Katie Garvin at 5:30 AM
Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted anything all week, but I've been enjoying family and the new year. :-) Today I have a tour for you about Julie Klassen's newest book, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall. If you like regency or anything Jane Austen, then this is the book for you!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
Bethany House (January 1, 2012)
Julie Klassen


Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now writes full time. Two of her books, The Girl in the Gatehouse and The Silent Governess won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards.

She graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoys travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. Julie and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt--and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?

Observing both brothers as an "invisible" servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?

On her journey from wellborn lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of "serve one another in love."

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, go HERE.


Julie Klassen is the 21st century's Jane Austen! I knew she was good after reading The Apothocary’s Daughter, but The Maid of Fairbourne Hall really blew me away. Open this book and Klassen will transports you back to the early 1800s, in England, when upper-class Margaret Macy suddenly finds her life altered to that of a lowly housemaid.

The first character that struck me the strongest and grabbed my attention was wild-mannered and dashingly good looking Nathaniel Upchurch. At his first appearance after years in Barabdos, I was glued to the pages and instantly intrigued about this man. Margaret took a little longer for me to warm up to, but through no fault of the author! She was just a bit too uppity. Once she was brought low and humbled as a housemaid—and learned so many lessons about the people who work so hard behind the scenes—she grew on me.

For being a rather thick book, I flew through the pages, easily. And found it very hard to put it down at the end of each chapter. Klassen excels at keeping the reader riveted to the pages, both with her awesome, intricate storyplot and her deep, endearing characters.

The things that Margaret had to go through as a housemaid certainly made for some amusing moments. Especially her first time at emptying a chamber pot! Haha, I was laughing out loud—how gross! As to questionable content, there really wasn’t any worth mentioning. A few of the male characters have less than honorable designs toward women, especially the servant girls, but details are never given.

If you love the Jane Austen classics, then you have to try one of Julie Klassen’s novels and discover that Austen’s brilliance with regency romances lives on! I was swept away in this lovely tale where the reader gets a behind the scenes look at what life was like for the servants in a 19th century English manor. You won’t be disappointed!

I reviewed this book for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. Thanks to the publishers, Bethany House, for sending me my review copy. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done. 


Charity said...

Love your review! Somehow I missed the CFBA Tours for this month and I soo wish I had gotten this one. I am a big fan of her writing and this one sounds intriguing.

Lane Hill House said...

Hi Katie,
I could not ever pick my favorite Julie Klassen novel! I have loved them all!!
I am NOT going to read your review... yet!! We just got home and claimed our held mail at the post office. YES!!! My very own copy of Julie's new book was waiting for me!
Happy New Year Blessed 2012.

Katie McCurdy said...

Charity - Oh, what a bummer you missed it. Klassen really did a wonderful job at this one. Makes me eager to read her other books that I have in my TBR pile, Lady of Milkweed Manor, The Silent Governess, and The Girl in the Gatehouse. :-)

Lane - I've only read two of hers--have the others in my TBR stack--and love them. The characters, the things that take place within the book, the romance, the pace that she's all beautiful!

So glad to hear you have your own copy! Haha, I don't blame you for not reading my review--I'm always extra careful about reading spoilers in reviews of books I am eager to read. Enjoy!

Hayden said...

Oh, I love Julie Klassen's books!

I actually just reviewed this book here :

God Bless!

Rebecca (RivkaBelle) said...

This one sounds intriguing! Must keep my eyes open for it :o)

Katie McCurdy said...

Hayden - I've only read two, but I've enjoyed them both! Thanks for the link to your review. I'll check it out!

Rebecca - Yes, do keep a sharp look out for it. Deff worth the read! :-)

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