Thursday, March 1, 2012

"The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" Book Review & Giveaway

*While you are here, don't miss the giveaway for Blue Moon Promise!*

I will have to admit to being a bit of an Anglophile. Maybe it's the tea and crumpets or maybe it's the butler, Mr. Carson.... Well, okay, the obsession started way before Downton Abbey. But I am enamored with the British Isles, especially the Regency era, so I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall.

About the book:

To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, pampered Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding? 

 My thoughts:
I have been a Julie Klassen fan from the first page of her first book. She has an incredible gift for writing and for incorporating the history of the period into the story in an amazing way. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall was no different and I was hooked from the first paragraph.

Margaret, who has known nothing but life above stairs, is forced to flee to avoid being forced to marry her new stepfather's nephew - who she knows is only after her money. Somehow she ends up as a chamber maid in the house of the man she rejected and his dashing older brother. Margaret soon learns that a servants life isn't much fun, as she empties chamber pots and scrubs floors. Can she avoid being detected by the Upchurch family?

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is filled with all sorts of twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing what is coming up on the next page. From the upstairs life of the privileged to the downstairs life of the servants, Ms. Klassen has woven an incredible story - even better than an episode of Downton Abbey!

About the author:
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

For more information, visit 

The Extras:
Read what others are saying about The Maid of Fairbourne Hall on the blog tour

Don't forget to RSVP for Julie Klassen's Facebook party and register for your chance to win prizes (including a Downton Abbey prize pack)!

If you are as obsessed with all things British as I am, don't miss Julie's research page, complete with pictures!

And now, the giveaway!
How to enter:
1. Main entry - Leave a comment answering this question from The Maid of Fairbourne Hall's discussion guide:  How well do you think you would cope if you found yourself in service in Regency England tomorrow?

Bonus entries - You must leave a separate comment for each in order for it to count!

2. Like "Our Crazy Life" on Facebook (or if you already do, leave a comment letting me know!)

3. Share this post on Facebook - or any other social networking site using the "Share the Love" buttons below the post. One Bonus entry per 'share', make sure to leave a comment for each entry! (P.S. You can share 1x a day for each site!)

4. Follow me on Google Friend Connect (or if you already do, leave a comment letting me know!)

5. Add my button to your blog (worth two entries, leave two comments!)

Make sure you leave a way to contact you, either by having your reply-to email address set or by leaving your email address in your posts.

Contest will end Monday, 3/12/2012, at 10:00 pm CST and the winner will be chosen by a random number generator.

The winner will be mailed a copy of Julie Klassen's The Maid of Fairbourne Hall via media mail.

*Fine Print: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. The opinions expressed are all mine and I was not required to give a positive review.

I hope you win! ;)



  1. I would struggle. It would be so hard to adjust to the customs, attitudes, and clothing. Definitely a fish out of water experience!

  2. I think I would be I would struggle with the sewerage,hygiene, and disease. Other then that, I think I would like it very much! Except, I would rather be the rich one who wears the fancy dresses, enjoys tea time, and takes strolls on the countryside... *SIGH*. I think I would go nuts watching people live like that and be stuck doing their dirty work.

  3. I already like your FB page :)

  4. Good points, Lizzy and Kate. I agree; it was definitely a more romantic time period for those with money! :) Thanks Athena, for the great review!

  5. I think I would be okay. It would take a little bit to fully understand the customs and make sure that I could follow them accordingly, but I really love the time period. I actually grew up wanting to be a maid.