The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is the story of Margaret Macy, a young woman living with her mother and stepfather. A few months from her 25th birthday, she is to receive a generous inheritance from her aunt on that date. Yet, her stepfather is determined to take it by forcing her to marry his nephew, a scoundrel she can never love. Macy runs away and goes into hiding as a maid, landing by accident in the home of a man whose proposal she refused—quite brutally. Macy has much to learn as she attempts to protect her secret for the sake of her family.
I’ll admit, the first one hundred pages had me wondering. Through these, author Julie Klassen was setting the scene, introducing us to Margaret’s plight and resulting situation. It wasn’t exactly pleasant, but it was necessary. In the author’s note at the end of the book, Klassen mentions there were many details of the situation she chose to leave out—to spare us. I was thankful for that.
But I was glad I hung in there through the difficult, but essential, first part of the book. Once I got past it, the story was amazing, and I could hardly put the book down.
Again, as compared to the last Klassen book I read, her style reminds me of Jane Austen’s, and the setting is the same, though in Klassen’s case, it’s historical fiction, while in Austen’s it would have been contemporary. Klassen has done her research! (And she tells readers some about that in her author’s note, as well.)
If you enjoy stories about the landed gentry in England set in the early 1800’s, I recommend this novel to you! I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending a complimentary copy for my honest review.