Rebecca Stubbs, the beloved daughter of a conscientious village vicar in Victorian England, has always enjoyed a sheltered, idyllic childhood. Her parents work tirelessly for their small farm community, aiding both the church and the poor. When an unexpected outbreak of fever rages through the town, Rebecca must face growing up alone.
As she matures into womanhood, Rebecca finds that she is ill-prepared for her new world. With no home, no family, and few prospects, she is determined to make her own way in life. As a housemaid at Barton Manor, she struggles to find her place in a world of double standards and man-made rules.
Can she keep her faith strong amidst a lonely life of domestic service? Must she always be a bystander, watching other people's lives unfold and flourish? Or is there something else in store for her servant heart?
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Hannah Buckland lives on her family's farm in the beautiful county of Kent, England, with her husband and their two lively and delightful sons. She enjoys home life, meeting up with friends, and helping on the farm, especially during the busy lambing season. She works part-time as a nurse and is a member of a Baptist church.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Well, Rebecca, wave good-bye to your name, your own will and desires; you are now a nobody, paid to work but not to think." Such are one young woman's thoughts as she enters a new life as a housemaid at Barton Manor in Rebecca Stubbs: The Vicar's Daughter by author Hannah Buckland. As I've encountered a number of stories set in historical England and told from the point of view of the rather privileged, with servants only in the background, it was a pleasure to read a novel from the view of a servant herself during the Victorian period. The author illustrates interesting points regarding the contempt held between different classes of people who actually depend on each other, and the heroine ponders whether it's right for her to question her place in society, in light of her faith. Faith, theology, and salvation are indeed major themes throughout the novel. Though I found Rebecca's journey to be relatable and interesting on the whole, I would've liked to see more dialogue in the story. Since Rebecca rarely draws the reader directly in to hear the interaction unfold in her relationships, those relationships tend to feel more summarized than realized. The use of dialogue does pick up at almost the very end of the book, but more key conversations between Rebecca and the important people in her life would've added greater dimension to the characters and variety to the flow of Rebecca's steady narration, helping more scenes to stand out. Also, it seems that a few significant trials of Rebecca's faith are summarized and quickly resolved in a couple paragraphs before they're fully developed or believable. The overall resolution to the story begins and finishes rather quickly as well, before some new characters have much chance to round out into anything less than perfect people. Still, the novel brings to light the tension between contentment and the desire for more in life, and the message of God's care shines through. "The Lord has many ways of being kind to us; some are strange, but all are effective." _________ Ambassador International provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
The story is enjoyable, but also pretty predictable. There is one very brief burst of violence in one scene that caught me by surprise but otherwise it unfolded just as I figured it would. Predictability aside, it had a fair bit of humor which I really enjoyed, one of the best being the description of a male guest to Edward's house (later on in the story) who seemed to get a little too grab-happy with the female staff so they started referring to him as "the octopus" X-D. My very favorite bit of the novel was Rebecca's time in a seaside village while she tries to recuperate from a severe cold. I could see a good bit of Austen and Bronte inspiration within this plot. In fact, the Bronte sisters are even referenced at one point in the story. I could see many likenesses to this novel and Jane Eyre especially. So I would say if you are a fan of Jane Austen, the work of the Bronte sisters, the tv show Downton Abbey and faith-based historical fiction, this book might be a perfect fit for you!