The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

by Julie Klassen


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The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

Regency Romance and Mystery from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen

Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt--and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?

Observing both brothers as an "invisible" servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?

On her journey from wellborn lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of "serve one another in love."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764207099
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/2012
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 198,797
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She won a 2010 Christy Award, a 2011 Midwest Book Award, and was a finalist at the 2010 RITA Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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The Maid of Fairbourne Hall 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 111 reviews.
RachelS More than 1 year ago
To escape an overbearing step father and an insistent suitor, Margaret Macy runs away disguised as a maid. After many days of travel she finds herself playing the part of a maid at the home of someone from her past. So, when I first picked out this book I wasn't really paying attention to who the author was, and it wasn't until I recieved the book and looked at the other books she had written that I realized I had read another book by her "The Apothecary's Daughter" which I also really enjoyed. I enjoyed this book a great deal. Things happen a little slowly and it was hard to get into at first, but eventually it had me hooked. Now when I say things happen slowly, I mean S-L-O-W-L-Y. Multiple times I just stared at the page like "He knows, she knows he knows, let something happen!" The characters were written in a way that made them believable. Each character had a back story that gave them depth and personality. A slow pace seems to be a trend with her writing. "The Maid of Fairebourne Hall" is written well and overall enjoyable, despite its slow pace. I will definitely be reading more books by her. - FTC Disclaimer: Bethany House Publishing sent me this book for free for reviewing purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters are well thought out. Morals are contemplated and argued. I love the fact that the author devoted herself into researching the what the lives of servants were truly like during this period. It's not an overly romanticized version of Cinderella.
ShopperMomAT More than 1 year ago
I liked the overall theme of the book, in which Margaret Macy, a high-bred lady of society is faced with the choice of marrying someone she doesn't love (who is willing to ruin her to make that marriage happen), or run away. She chooses to run away and hides out as a maid and finds out what life is really like below stairs. If you like Downton Abbey, you will most likely enjoy this book. I only give it a little lower rating because there is a bit more history than romance, but I did enjoy the historical tidbits, as Historical Fiction is my genre of choice. The relationship between Margaret and her former suitor, whose house she is now a maid in, moves a bit slowly. There are other happenings that kept me interested, even some swashbuckling swordplay that fit into the backstory of the love interest. If this book were a movie, it would be a nice date movie with plenty of action outside of the romance. If you are looking purely for romance, this one does not fit the bill, but satisfies in the historical aspect. There are other stories to follow of other characters that were interesting and I almost enjoyed another budding romance story in the book more than the main one! There is also not enough denouement after the action ends and the loose ends are being tied up. More detail and movement is needed in the end portion of the story writing. It is a bit as if the author was not sure how she wanted to end it, and then did so a bit too quickly. The pace of the main romantic story moves a bit slowly, but don't give up if you choose to try this book. It was certainly entertaining and informative!
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
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.
Laura_Pol More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed a novel by Julie Klassen because there is lots of mystery, a little bit of action, historical information, and just the right dose of romance! "The Maid at Fairbourne Hall" definitely didn't lack in these areas (even if there was not quite as much romance as I had hoped which is why I'm giving this novel a 4.5 stars)! I thought the world of servants fascinating especially coming from a main character who was part of the upper class! Macy was a character who grew so much throughout the story and reminded me of the humble Biblical message to not judge anyone based on appearances! Nathaniel was another wonderful character as well as his entire family! It was hard choosing a favorite character as there were many I liked! The only thing that I was so bummed about concerning this novel was the ending, but not because it wasn't good or anything of that nature! I had just hoped for more to have occurred at the end! I would be specific in what I mean by that, but I don't want to spoil the ending! Overall, despite this complaint above I really enjoyed reading this novel! It kept me up quite a few late nights in wanting to read more of these characters who had captured my heart! The storyline is sure to leave you on the edge of your seat as well as having a good giggle!
InSpirit More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall this book was a pretty good read. It did not wow me, and for a historical fiction book I thought that their conversations and such were too modern sounding. I thought this was a Christian historical fiction book and was greatly dissapointed by the lack of God in this novel. The main character, Margaret, never really bore the consequences of her lies and deceit. The ending was just as dissapointing as the rest of the book. It ended abruptly. I felt like I was waiting the whole book for it to get good and when I finally got to the good part in the end it lasted for one, maybe two, pages. I liked the whole idea of the book though. The storyline kept me interested for the most part, but it didn't have the excitement that I love in novels. Even the romance in this book wasn't exciting. I prefer when the characters fall head over heels in love with eachother, and I didn't get that kind of vibe from this book. Instead, I had to drag myself through all of these scenes in the book where the main characters are wondering to themselves,"I wonder if she likes me?" And,"Do I like him?" They went on like that for what felt like forever until the last few pages of the book, whuch was frustrating because I felt like the book then lacked romance. I didn't feel that this book was very original, I have heard and read of many stories similar to this one. This book didn't contain the originality and freshness that I was looking for. I wouldn't reccommend this book to anyone, but I wouldn't advise someone against it either. I gave this book three stars because I thought it was average. It was nothing more than okay and nothing less.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4.5 / 5 stars (would have been 5 stars, straight up, but some of the story elements relating to the Poet Pirate were a trifle weak-sauce and distracted from the rest of the story) In any book, isn’t it fun to read about a character who has a lot of growing to do? (Assuming that the character doesn’t piss you off so much that you can’t get through the book, of course…) Authors really take a risk when they commit to the page a character who is so much like the rest of us–-bratty, flawed, snarky, arrogant, selfish, etc.–-because we readers (as humans) often want to forget that we possess all those qualities, and it’s always incredibly annoying to encounter one’s hated bad qualities in another person. It’s like a judgment. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like feeling judgment when I’m reading for pleasure. But when it’s done well, it can be magical to witness a character’s journey from spoiled jerk to sympathetic wonderfulness. The heroine of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall goes on just that sort of journey, and it’s one of the many things that I liked about the novel. As the title would suggest, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall involves an upstairs/downstairs storyline. I don’t actually know why I didn’t get annoyed by all the descriptions of Margaret’s duties as a downstairs maid–-I mean, (over)description is often the death of a novel–-but I suspect that it’s due entirely to Julie Klassen’s superior storytelling. She never once lost her focus: even when she was describing all of Margaret’s daily chores, the focus remained on Margaret’s response to the work, on her discovery of the life of a maid, of her own insignificance (as Mr. Bennet would say), and of the hero’s worthiness. In the end, this story really is all about discovery and realization. Margaret discovers herself and her true feelings for Nathaniel. Nathaniel similarly discovers Margaret (in a few ways) and recovers himself. And that theme also connects some of the secondary characters in the story. The end result is a lovely, deeply romantic story that is emotionally satisfying and (dare I say it) nourishing. I don’t really know what romance means to the general population, but I know what it means to me. I want an emotional story about the connection or relationship between the main characters. Other elements from heroic/medieval romance are welcome (action/adventure/quest/magic/etc.), but I’m in it for emotional catharsis. Sex scenes are not required for good romance, and sometimes they get in the way. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is a romance in all the best ways–-its focus is on the emotional development of the two main characters as individuals and on the emotional development of their relationship–-and it’s fantastic. And there’s no sex at all, and I didn’t miss it. I can’t wait to read more books by Julie Klassen.
Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
n the Maid of Fairborne Hall by Julie Klassen, Margret Macy is used to being waited upon. She doesn't think twice about her lifestyle and all the perks that come with it. She lives with her mother and step-father in a lavish house. Her step-father is adamant in trying to get Margret to marry his nephew. Margret is uneasy about this union and after overhearing a distasteful plot to lure her into matrimony, her only course of action is to flee her home. Margret Macy leaves without hardly any comforts or money. Her only solution is to find a job and wait until she is of age to collect her inheritance. Margret is soon in the service of the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch. Margret has an infatuation with Lewis and Nathaniel had proposed and been rejected by Margret. Margret is spoiled. She doesn't know what a hard days work would look like. The phrases 'Please' and 'Thank You' rarely cross her lips. Through serendipitous circumstances she comes to work at Fairborne Hall as a maid. Margret has a rude awakening and quickly learns all the hard work the servants accomplish in one day. She also learns that people are not what they seem. She finds quite a few kindred spirits among her fellow workers. Over the course of a few months Margret learns things like humility, forgiveness, integrity and love. Though the work is hard, she also learns the value of friendship and camaraderie. Margret has real character growth in this novel. Julie Klassen is a long time fan of Jane Austen and Jane Eyre. If you'd combine the two Jane's you'd come out with The Maid of Fairborne Hall. This book is a well written, very interesting take on a riches to rags story. Klassen takes the life style of the 19th century English manor and gives a great look into the life of the people of downstairs. This is a great book to read and one that I'd highly recommend.
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable Austin inspired book. A good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the insight into the daily lives of servants. Also was glad for the happy endiing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story line!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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I liked the part where Margaret was checking on her sister after she got back from the ball.
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