To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonourable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch – both former suitors.
As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?
I have been wanting to read this story for a long time and am thankful that I have! Julie Klassen is an amazing and talented author. I was immediately hooked when I read The Silent Governess and I still love that story even today. Although it took a while to get engaged with The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t get away from it!! Klassen writes in such a fluent and subtle way that you don’t even know you are getting hooked!! The character development works in the same way. In the beginning I rather disliked Nathaniel and Helen, liking Lewis instead. I don’t know when that exactly happened, but in the end I was rather fond of Nathaniel and Helen, wishing them every happiness.
The mystery is that Margaret disguises herself as a housemaid. Initially no-one notices but then certain situations arise where Helen and Nathaniel find out, but this is definitely not spelt out as you have to read between the lines. This was so much fun because it’s like a secret you share with them, as secret kept from Margaret.
However I was rather disappointed with the romance between Nathaniel and Helen. I would have liked to see a bit more chemistry that gradually developed, instead of pulling it together in the last few chapters. Yet there are other characters that highlight an unexpected romance, which I found really sweet.
The mystery Klassen incorporated was also really good! The many circumstances ranging from people searching for Margaret (especially her step father) to Lewis being shot, really kept the story moving. Although some were resolved rather quickly, a new mystery would be revealed keeping readers interesting.
Klassen has certainly written an amazing story that I highly recommend it to regency romance readers. Personally, I love the setting- 19th Century in an English manor in the point of view of a maid. There is just something humbling about it. I hope you pick it up and also enjoy it.