Fiction Friday: Longbourn
Pride & Prejudice Told From the Servants’ Perspective
Wish you could have a behind the scenes look from a servant's perspective on Jane Austen's beloved classic Pride & Prejudice? Well wish no more my friends! Longbourn is just such a tale.
The premise is intriguing. The potential of a memorable story is high. Still, I give this only 4 stars instead of 5 because, well, honestly? The first half of the book kind of dragged. Like overkill on the descriptions of the monotonous tasks servants had to carry out. I get that this is historically accurate, but sweet mercy, I have enough drudgery in my own life that I don't really want to read about it when I'm not doing dishes or laundry.
But therein is this book's salvation as well.
Though I'm on record for passages being too long, it's the writing in those passages that make this a delightful read. Author Jo Baker knows how to put words together in a charming way, enough so that I did not put down the book and, in fact, underlined several sentences that made me drool and slightly jealous.
So, if you're a Pride & Prejudice fanatic and pine for a historical novel with some romance added in, this is the book for you. Here’s a blurb:
The servants take center stage in this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice. While Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters fuss over balls and husbands, Sarah, their orphaned housemaid, is beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When a new footman arrives at Longbourn under mysterious circumstances, the carefully choreographed world she has known all her life threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Mentioned only fleetingly in Jane Austen’s classic, here Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Regency England and, in doing so, uncovers the real world of the novel that has captivated readers’ hearts around the world for generations.