‘Longbourn’ by Jo Baker
I was thrilled when I won a limited edition proof copy of ‘Longbourn’. Published by Doubleday on 15th August 2013 in hardback, ebook and audio this book coincides with the 200th anniversary of the first publication of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. It follows the lives of the servants and is a really fascinating read.
Life is very busy at Longbourn House below stairs. Mrs Hill the housekeeper is in charge of Sarah and Polly, the two housemaids who came there as young children. Though forceful, Mrs Hill is kind and caring. Little do they know however that everyday life at Longbourn is about to be disrupted. James Smith arrives and is employed by Mr Bennet as a footman. But all doesn’t seem right to Sarah, things just don’t add up. She is sure James is hiding something.
When I received ‘Longbourn’ I had the feeling that I would really enjoy this novel. I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t let down. This was one of those books that I just couldn’t wait to get back to and I wish it could have carried on. It has been beautifully written and Jo Baker has described everything so well, from the clothes that were worn in those days to the different places. ‘Longbourn’ has been split into three volumes. Volume Three is where all becomes clear and it contains a few shocks and surprises.
My favourite character was Sarah. She worked so very hard and you couldn’t help but feel sorry for her, especially when her hands were all sore and bleeding. I just wanted her to find happiness.
I think this book will appeal to lots of people, whether fans of Jane Austen or not. For those of you who read ‘Longbourn’ and like it there is more good news. It is due to be made into a film produced by Focus Features. I am keen to see this when it is released to see how it compares to the book.
I give this book 5 out of 5.