Thursday, 9 November 2017

Book Musings - A Pearl for my Mistress by Annabel Fielding

Title : A Pearl for my Mistress
Author : Annabel Fielding
Genre : Historical Fiction
Source : ARC from Netgalley

Blurb :

A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.
England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady's maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

My Musings :

I have always loved fiction set during the Regency times. They have always been romances. When this book was brought to my attention, I thought I would read it because I was curious how I would respond to a book set in the cusp of the after-lavish lives of the higher society.

When I started reading the book, I felt it was a read about the forbidden love affair between a maid and her mistress. But as I continued, I realised there were so much more hidden between the pages. The story is set in times where war, within and without was imminent and the general public was hungry - for work and better lives and divided in their views. Hester joins as Lady Lucy's maid and gets to know her mistress better in personal and worldly lives.

The world is painstakingly described in broad strokes. Though I wasn't much familiar with the time period, I was able to get the tenseness of the situation, the reality of the public and the high handedness of the higher society from the story. Maybe this is why the pace felt a bit slow for me. It meandered between the chapters and it portrayed how the scenes flowed with the characters' actions.

The book showcases the issues of class and social caste and race distinction. The author has well developed characters with Lucy being the most intricate of them all. She changes hue as the story progresses and the political scene comes into play. The way she manipulates Hester through her emotions shows the unfathomable divide between master and servant. I enjoyed the richness of the history as much as the political mapping.

I enjoyed the book with the precise writing and the intrigue involving politics. The romance was well done but it was only a branch of the main plot. The ending had me upset for a bit but then smoothed out with Abby's reaction. All in all, it was a well spent few hours reading the tale.

I received an ARC for reviewing purposes. This doesn't impact my review in any way.

My one line review : A historical fiction delineating class distinction and racial differences. 

My rating : 4.5/5

My reread factor : 3.5/5

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