Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Good Reads Review of Longbourn:
In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.
My take on this novel:
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I listened via audiobook and loved every minute of the British voice in the story.  It made it that more "alive" to me.  I love all things Jane Austen and this book just added to the obsession.  Somehow I always seem to relate what I've been reading to my own life, but lately I have just been escaping into books to escape my own life.  I absolutely love this quote from Longbourn: 

“Threads that drift alone will sometimes simply twine themselves together, without need for spindle or distaff: brought into each other’s ambit, they bind themselves tight with the force of their own torsion. And this same torsion can, in the course of things, bundle the resulting cord back upon itself, ravelling it up into a skein, returning to the point of its beginning.”
Jo Baker, Longbourn

Such a beautiful way to talk about how things weave in our own lives, and how when we think we are most alone and going at things by ourselves we are always winding back to our beginning.  Our beginnings are what makes us, but our life experiences are what bring us to and bring us apart from others in our lives.  Sometimes I wish I could be apart of that culture that was "Austen-like" I love all things about the romance of it all, but Longbourn brought down the reality and reminded me that yes they had chamber pots that had to be emptied and they didn't have a modern washer and dryer, maybe not the world I would want after all, but I truly loved being immersed with the ideal romance of it all.   So nice to have a book with a happy ending, but perhaps that's why we love Austen books to begin with.  Longbourn was an emotional book that had you thinking more of the help than the ladies of the house, it was nice to showcase the love of the "help" in this age of dances and elaborate parties.  I loved this book and would recommend it to anybody!

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