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The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Fans of Jane Austen and 19th century romance will LOVE this one!

Being a young woman in the early 1800's left very little in the way of choice for love and marriage. Most of the time, you were expected to find not only an eligible man but one of some means to provide for you and the family you were expected to bring into the world. H...
Being a young woman in the early 1800's left very little in the way of choice for love and marriage. Most of the time, you were expected to find not only an eligible man but one of some means to provide for you and the family you were expected to bring into the world. However when Margaret Macy learns of her stepfather, Sterling's plans to marry her off to his nephew when he learns that when she turns 25, she will inherit a vast fortune of her own. When Margaret politely tells Marcus she isn't interested in him, Sterling reminds him to do whatever it takes to make the marriage happen, even if it means soiling her reputation.

Nathaniel Upchurch has returned from helping his father with their sugar plantation in Barbados and also from leaving London when Margaret Macy rejects his marriage proposal while her heart beats for his brother Lewis, a lifelong flirt who has no hopes of marrying anyone. Has the time being gone for these few years helped heal the wound in his heart or will he find a new way to win Margaret's heart once more?

In the latest novel by Julie Klassen, The Maid at Fairbourne Hall is a reverse Cinderella story at heart. Margaret Macy leaves her home and turns to the life of a maid hoping to hide from Sterling and Marcus who are searching all over London for her. While earning her keep at Fairbourne Hall, she learns that she has been hired to work for the Upchurch family. Will she be able to keep her disguise or will she try and convince Lewis and Nathaniel of her stepfather's plot to marry her for her money?

I received this novel compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and loved it. Taking me to the early 18oo's in London, the reader gets an insiders look at what the life of hired help was like working for rich families and how they find the delight in the simplest of pleasures, that the rich take advantage of. This is a must read for fans of Jane Austen and who love the romance that comes from the time period. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to read more novels by Julie Klassen!

posted by Heart2Heart on December 29, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Very DISAPPOINTED

Having enjoyed the first 2 books by this author, I was eager to read her latest offering and even more eager after seeing all the reviews. I am sorry I cannot agree with all of the "GREAT BOOK" ratings. It started out with great potential ... a great plot and subplot...
Having enjoyed the first 2 books by this author, I was eager to read her latest offering and even more eager after seeing all the reviews. I am sorry I cannot agree with all of the "GREAT BOOK" ratings. It started out with great potential ... a great plot and subplots. Then it turned into a very lengthy documentary of the daily life of servanthood .... WAY too much detail and WAY too many pages. I wanted a romance NOT a history book. When we finally got to the real action I was again disappointed ... everything worked out FAR TOO EASILY in VERY few pages. All the problems just suddenly disappeared. And there was very little romance. There was little interaction between NORA and Nathaniel except a couple of scenes of physical attraction which were TOTALLY contradicting to all of the careful details of servanthood. When you read 359 pages you deserve more than page of romance ... very disappointing ending! VERY disappoited in the book and the author. It seems the publisher is going for quantity of pages rather than a quality story.

posted by Suholo on March 17, 2012

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fans of Jane Austen and 19th century romance will LOVE this one!

    Being a young woman in the early 1800's left very little in the way of choice for love and marriage. Most of the time, you were expected to find not only an eligible man but one of some means to provide for you and the family you were expected to bring into the world. However when Margaret Macy learns of her stepfather, Sterling's plans to marry her off to his nephew when he learns that when she turns 25, she will inherit a vast fortune of her own. When Margaret politely tells Marcus she isn't interested in him, Sterling reminds him to do whatever it takes to make the marriage happen, even if it means soiling her reputation.

    Nathaniel Upchurch has returned from helping his father with their sugar plantation in Barbados and also from leaving London when Margaret Macy rejects his marriage proposal while her heart beats for his brother Lewis, a lifelong flirt who has no hopes of marrying anyone. Has the time being gone for these few years helped heal the wound in his heart or will he find a new way to win Margaret's heart once more?

    In the latest novel by Julie Klassen, The Maid at Fairbourne Hall is a reverse Cinderella story at heart. Margaret Macy leaves her home and turns to the life of a maid hoping to hide from Sterling and Marcus who are searching all over London for her. While earning her keep at Fairbourne Hall, she learns that she has been hired to work for the Upchurch family. Will she be able to keep her disguise or will she try and convince Lewis and Nathaniel of her stepfather's plot to marry her for her money?

    I received this novel compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and loved it. Taking me to the early 18oo's in London, the reader gets an insiders look at what the life of hired help was like working for rich families and how they find the delight in the simplest of pleasures, that the rich take advantage of. This is a must read for fans of Jane Austen and who love the romance that comes from the time period. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to read more novels by Julie Klassen!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    This was a very good book. Once I started, It was hard to put i

    This was a very good book. Once I started, It was hard to put it down. Very well researched. Margaret's step father was after her fortune and was willing to have her be defiled to get it. Margaret overhearing his plans, decides to run away that night and in the process, she steals some money which also gets her maid fired. Margaret set out with her maid to find a job and ends up in a house where she could have been mistress of it. She wears a wig and covers her hair and changes her name to Nora. Nora because she is in hiding had a chance to see how the servants live. This opportunity, changes her, she bacomes a nicer person. There is a couple of mysteries that are taking place in this book. If you like clean romances, you will love this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    Historical fiction, regency romance, and a Christian book to boo

    Historical fiction, regency romance, and a Christian book to boot. Who could ask for anything more? This book fast became one of my favorite reads, and I would highly recommend it. It represents the best that romance can offer.

    My favorite thing about the book was the historical look at servants in 1800's England. I was pleased to see the author's note at the end of the book that explained her extensive research on the topic. While she admits to some liberties, it was nice to see that much of what I had been reading about maids in her book was accurately described. Perhaps I enjoyed this look at servants because so few romance novels delve into that topic. So often, it is all about lords and ladies and the rich. We see the servants in passing, but we have no idea what they were expected to do each day. And I will tell you that I definitely would not want to do any of the things detailed in the book--especially empty the chamber pots! I had never considered how sullen and busy the life of maids were.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed the well-written story and characterizations. It was neat to see the author put in a few twists and turns that the reader may not have expected. And the characters seemed to be very realistic--not perfect, but people with foibles and problems just like all of us. And as for the Christian message, it was wonderful to see it expertly woven into the story line. I can't stand it when authors force the Christian message into the book just for the sake of it being a "Christian" book. The spiritual focus in the book was quite nice and refreshing.

    I absolutely loved this book, and I have given it a definite 5-star rating. This book was incredibly well-written, and the story line never lagged. I have never read anything by Julie Klassen, but I am definitely placing her on my list of favorite authors.

    I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Judge not according to the appearance. Let's start with a little

    Judge not according to the appearance.
    Let's start with a little information about the characters before we start.

    Margaret Elinor Macy - hieress to a fortune and main character in this book

    Sterling Benton - Margaret's step father and vilian/manipulator after her fortune

    Marcus Benton - Sterling's puppet of a nephew out to marry Margaret and her fortune

    Lewis Upchurch - aka Don Juan had courted Margaret at one time. He is all play no work

    Nathaniel Upchurch - younger brother of Lewis. He is all work no play. Also courted and proposed to Margaret, she turned him down leaving him bitter.

    The Poet Pirate - anonymous

    Helen Upchurch - sister of Lewis and Nathaniel. She has become a spinster due to lost love.

    Joan - Margaret's maid whom helped her to escape the villianous stepfather and nephew.

    Nora Garret - Margarets new name while in disguise.

    Fairbourne Hall - resident of the Upchurch family and Margaret's new place of employment as servant.

    Mr. Hudson - house steward at Fairbourne Hall. Hired Margaret as servant at Fairbourne Hall.

    These are just the main characters there are many more that make up this story.

    Margaret Elinor Macy was determined to come up with a plan to flee her step father's iron rule. Sterling Benton not only taken over the financial responsibilties of his new family he also chose to lock away all the families jewels. He also has plans to marry off Margaret to his puppet of a nephew, Marcus Benton, in order go get control of a very large fortune Margaret is soon to inherit. She overheard Sterling and Marcus scheming to go as far as comprimising her virtue forcing her to marry Marcus. This she would not allow to happen she had to find a way to escape.

    She seeked out an old friend Lewis Upchurch to help her hide away from Sterling but to no avail. When she was home alone she took money from her step father's room which resulted in her maid, Joan, being accused of the theft and was fired. Margaret convinced the maid to help her escape and give her safe haven. She decides to disguise herself by wearing a wig and coloring her eyebrows darker along with wearing a pair of her father's old glasses. Margaret no longer goes by her real name she is now to be known as Nora Garret and plans to hire out as a servant to support herself until she comes into her inheritance. She had no clue as how to be a servant. But she had no other recourse.

    Nora is hired as a house maid by Mr. Hudson, a house steward. When she nears her new place of employment she is shocked to see it is none other that Fairbourne Hall home of the man she spurned, Nathaniel Upchurch and his brother Lewis. Along with their sister, Helen, mistress of the Fairbourne Hall.

    She fears she will be recognized and sent back to face whatever her step father has in store for her. But to her amazement she is able to keep secret from everyone. Are does she?

    It was really diffucult for me to know just how much of the story I should share in this review. There is so much secrecy among all of the characters, along with manipulation and intrigue. Of course there is a chance for some romance in the story also. It is said that the author's writing is comparable to that of Jane Austen's and I whole heartily agree.

    There are many interesting quotes in the book. This is one of many...

    Housemaids were meant to be invisible, and all cleaning had to be performed either before the family to up or while they were absent. As one housemaid later wrote. "It was assumed, I suppose, that the fairies had been at the rooms." Trevor May, The Victorian Domestic Servant


    I highly recommend this book.

    I rate this book a 5 out of 5.

    Disclosure:
    I was given a free copy of this book for review by Bethany House Publisher/Litfuse. I was in no way compensated for this review, it is my own opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    Mystery, suspense, love

    One of Julie's best works. I couldn't get enough of the inner workings of estates during this time period. Loved watching a women of wealth become a servant. Awesome book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    Love this book! Danger,mystery,suspense. Stand alone book.

    I own 3 books by Julie, this is the first book I have read by her.
    I have to say, I loved the plot of the story, lots of twists and turns, keeps you reading to see what is going to happen.

    I love romance novels that include a journey with humor and lots of mischief along the way. These are my favorite, and this book passes the test. The book is well written and the characters are fun to get to know.

    I am now reading the girl in the gatehouse by her. I hope its like this one. So far, the book already has you sent out on another journey to discover her aunts secrets. I like this one so far...its proven to be an interesting book as well.

    Julie Klassen is now a new member to my favorite authors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Very good.

    I liked the part where Margaret was checking on her sister after she got back from the ball.

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  • Posted May 23, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    The Maid of Fairbourne Hall takes readers inside both the fasci


    The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
    takes readers inside both the fascinating above stairs and below stairs worlds of a 19th-century English manor, where appearances can be deceiving...

    I loved this book! 
    Adventurous Regency romance kept me fascinated from beginning to end ~
    the storyline had abundant intrigue.
    The timing was perfect, keeping me turning all 400+ pages!

    Margaret worked on many of my emotions as her character
    developed from frustrating to favoured.
    Realistic characters, true to the age and era depicted, added to the authenticity. 
    [Though using the appropriate English spelling would add more to its authenticity]

    The faith aspects are handled well and accurately to this historical period;
    An addition to the story rather than a distraction.

    A highly recommended book!

    A great movie of the period that interconnects perfectly,
    is "Amazing Grace".
    It provides relevant background info on the sugar plantations 
    that bear on the storyline.
    A highly recommended movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    The Maid Of Fairbourne Hall

    Great book. I got it because it was recommended in a Beverly Lewis book. Like with Beverly Lewis books, my friends are always telling me that they are too complicated for 13 year olds like us. But I just turned thirteen and understand them just fine. But then, I have been reading novels this size since I was 7.... And I just beat my record by reading the whole Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer in two days. Then I wrote a book report on them and got an A. Over the summer I won a reward at my library for reading the most books (608) in two months.... anyway good book for everybody.

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  • Posted October 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I ALWAYS LOVE HER BOOKS!

    It’s funny… I usually keep looking to the front cover of a book while reading it in order to better-picture the heroine throughout her times and trials—but not so with this book. While reading The Maid of Fairbourne Hall I kept looking to the back cover. For on the cover of the book, as well as throughout most of the story, Margaret Macy is disguised as a housemaid and going by the name of Nora Garrett. It was usually from the once-spurned, yet ever-loving, Nathaniel Upchurch’s perspective that I was trying to visualize Margaret as the blond beauty on the back of the book.


    I’ve been looking forward to reading The Maid of Fairbourne Hall for a very long time because I always enjoy reading any book by Julie Klassen. There were so many things I liked about this book; it might be difficult to remember to mention everything. The only thing that that only kind of bothered me was that it seemed to have a rather slow start. But I pressed on because of its high rating on Goodreads and the fact that many of my author/reader friends gave it such high marks. I liked that there were only two perspectives—Margaret Macy and Nathaniel Upchurch. No villains, no secondary characters—just the two people who the book was really about.

    Julie Klassen is an excellent writer when it comes to writing the kind of book I love to read.... and write. It used to bother me a great deal when I would read books by authors who seem to be on the same wavelength as me. It’s happened before with Julie Klassen, as well as with books written by Elizabeth Camden, Siri Mitchell and Jody Hedlund. There’s just something sometimes that reminds me of the books I’ve written myself (although my agent and I are just starting our quest for a publisher for my first book this week). I try to see this as a good thing—that I’m thinking up the kinds of plots and situations that sell. But still, I don’t want anyone to ever read my book and think I took my ideas from them. My characters “tell me” what’s going on in their lives, emotions and circumstances... and I simply write them down in my writerly voice.

    I can tell Julie Klassen is very in tune with her characters. They are very well-developed, very real-feeling people coming alive on the page. Her plots are full of hard decisions and difficult situations, all the while being believable, and as always, so incredibly interesting. I am so happy I decided to stick through the first few chapters. It was well worth it.

    I borrowed Julie Klassen’s The Maid of Fairbourne Hall from my local library... even kept it days overdue in order to finish it... and give it 5 stars. I recommend all of Julie Klassen’s books, especially if you love books set during England’s Regency Era and anything Jane Austen-like (as I do).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2012

    Great Regency Era Read

    Enjoyed this one immensely! Wonderfully developed characters. I found myself re-reading the ending because I didn't want to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Awesome love story

    I enjoy reading this book, couldn't put it down!! K.P.

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  • Posted May 26, 2012

    I really enjoyed this story, even though it was a little predict

    I really enjoyed this story, even though it was a little predictable. With most cases of happily ever after some elements are kinda hard to not be predictable. However this book made my heart happy with its memorable characters and wonderful setting. As Margaret attempts to disappear into life at Fairbourne Hall, she learns the hard way what her servants have lived with their whole lives. She has to function without the help of many people at her beck and call and within the rules of proper household society. I was sad to reach the end because I fell in love with the characters and wasn't ready to leave them. Give it a try, you will be glad you did!
    (Review copy provided by publisher, all opinions are mine)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    tge maid of fairborne hall

    You will fall in love with all the endearing characters in this story. Julie Klassen will keep you on the edge of your seat and You won't be able to put this book down.

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I like a book that makes me stop and think.

    Maid of Fairbourne Hall is the first book by Julie Klassen that I have read. Once started I could not put it down. Turning off my light at 2:30 am. No wonder Julie Klassen has won two Christy awards and was a finalist in the Rita. Her characters are well rounded. Their goals and motivations are easy to understand and I found myself rooting for Margaret Macy to prevail.

    I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted March 16, 2012

    Loved this story!!!

    I have read all of Julie's books and have enjoyed them all. It is nice to watch an author grow with each new story. Each one gets better and better. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I couldn't wait to read what happened next. It was romantic, suspenseful, humorous, charming and exciting. This one is a keeper for me. I especially enjoyed reading about the life of servitude. We recently enjoyed a trip to Newport, RI and visited The Breakers. Seeing how these people lived was very interesting and reading this story brought it all to life. Excellent read!

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A VERY GOOD STORY! THE MAID OF FAIRBOURNE HALL by Julie Klassen

    A VERY GOOD STORY!

    THE MAID OF FAIRBOURNE HALL by Julie Klassen is an interesting inspirational historical fiction set in 1815 London. I like the charactrr Margaret,how she was able to hide her identity and how sh managed to fine a job. The twist in this story makes you want to keep on reading. The author has done a wonderful job of bringing the characters to light. I would highly recommend thips book to everyone, you will not regret reading "The Maid Of Fairbourne Hall". A very good story. Received from Bethany House,a division of Baker Publishing Group for an honest review. Details can be found at the author's website,the publisher's website,and My Book Addiction and More.



    RATING: 5

    HEAT RATING: SWEET

    REVIEWED BY: DorothyA,My Book Addiction and More

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    Delightful Read

    Julie Klassen weaves the tale of aristocrat Margaret Macy escaping her spoiled lifestyle to avoid an unwanted marriage. If she can remain unwed for several months, until her next birthday, she will receive her inheritance. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is a delightful saga of a spoiled, rich, young woman going in disguise as a maid in England during the early 1800's. Not until after she arrives at her employment, does Margaret realize she'll be working in the home of the man who proposed marriage several years ago. She spurned Nathaniel Upchurch in favor of his brother.

    I love the way Margaret learns the hard way to appreciate people for who they are, no matter what station of life they are in. She discovers many valuable lessons along the way, as she adjusts to poverty and being a servant. Through working, Margaret acquires the ability to see beyond herself and her own needs. She also finds out what it means to sacrifice.

    I found The Maid of Fairbourne Hall to be a delightful read, and one I highly recommend.

    * This book was provided free for review by Bethany House Publishers.

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Riches to Rags

    Another GREAT book by Julie Klassen. I loved it!!
    Talk about going from Rags to Riches Margaret Macy as Nora goes from Riches to Rags. What an eye opener for this young 24 year old woman. They live in England in 1815, and she is from Money! They have oodles of servants for everything. When she overhears her Step-Father encouraging his Nephew Marcus to get with it marry her, at all costs, even if he has to molest her and then save her face. She knows she has to get away, by chance their maid Joan is fired, for something she did, and she takes her to her sister's!
    You will not believe that this pampered girl is able to do all that she accomplishes. Is she going to be able to last, or will she end up going home to having someone else dress her?
    She ends up at the home of two of her former suitors, and you will have to wonder if one or neither of these men, Nathaniel or Lewis will end up with her.
    Don't miss this one, reminiscent of old England and some of its glory! I also love how Nate reinstated a prayer meeting for all of the help each morning.
    This is a great Christian Romance Story!

    I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An excellent romance story

    I really liked this book enormously and definitely plan to seek out other books by Julie Klassen. I thought the story was well-written and the characters both believable and likeable. I found the discussion of slavery and emancipation that went on throughout the book to be very interesting. And the stories of love and forgiveness and finding out the truth about both yourself and others were also very enjoyable. There is some discussion of faith and God in the book as well, but it's not a major element of the storyline.

    All in all, this was a lovely historical novel that I really enjoyed and that I recommend wholeheartedly if you're looking for a new romance book to read.

    Note- I received this book from the publishers to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.

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