I am so pleased that you have stopped by for a visit. I hope you will enjoy reading my book reviews. If you would be interested in reviewing books on your own blog, check out the links for litfuse and Booksneeze.

Monday, January 30, 2012

THE MAID OF FAIRBOURNE HALL by Julie Klassen - Book Review

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, set in Regency England, is sure to satisfy those readers who enjoy an historical novel written about that period. It is Julie's latest book, following in the tradition of Lady of Milkweed Manor, The Apothecary's Daughter, The Silent Governess, and The Girl at the Gatehouse.

The setting in an English country house is reminiscent of Upstairs, Downstairs, with the focus primarily 'below stairs'.  Julie has done extensive research, and the story is filled with many details. We are given insight into the time period through numerous quotes (epigraphs) at the beginning of each chapter. This book will keep you turning page after suspenseful page, discovering the
numerous twists in the plot, until at last a satisfying conclusion is reached.

Brimming with romance and danger, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall takes readers inside the fascinating belowstairs world of a 19th-century English manor, where appearances can be deceiving.

To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, 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?
~taken from back cover

This book would make an ideal choice for a book club, as discussion questions are included.

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 www.julieklassen.com

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Friday, January 13, 2012

Musings On Snow

                                                     Snow Angel

When my brother and I were young, we loved to play in the snow, building forts and having snowball fights. We stayed outside till our noses were red, and our mittens wet with melting snow. Oh, did I say mittens?

Invariably, we managed to get our mittens covered in burdocks, much to mum's chagrin. Then one day, mum had had enough. She told us that if we got our mittens covered in burdocks, she would have us pick them off. Sure enough, the inevitable happened. Mum spread newspapers on the living room floor, and there we sat, picking off every one of those burdocks. I can't recall that happening again!

Years later, there I was, bundling up our two year old daughter to play in the snow. No sooner was she completely  dressed than - you guessed it. She had to go to the bathroom! So, bundling her up once more, I sent her off to play while her baby sister napped. She had such a happy time outside, and didn't want to come in. Finally, in she came, melting snow dripping on the floor. I thought of burdocks on mittens and melting snow on the floor, then sat down to write the following...

For Heather

First snow - so clean, crisp, fresh -
Child-like wonder fills your eyes
As you watch "stowflakes" gently falling -
As you walk, ever so slowly,
Plodding through snow,
Bundled in boots and snowsuit,
I delight anew in God's beautiful gift
Now blanketing the earth.
Seen through your eyes somehow makes it seem so new.

Lord, help me not to lose this sense of awe and wonder
When I see puddles on my clean floor
And burdocks on mittens!

© Lynn McCallum
December 1, 1979