Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonourable 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.”
Julie Klassen’s latest book had me enthralled! I loved it! From the romance to the mystery to the fascinating lives and duties of the servants of a great house. Klassen has given her readers so much to take it. I really enjoyed learning about the work the maids do. I can’t imagine emptying a chamber pot, lighting a fire all whilst the person in the room is still asleep in their bed. A maid was not allowed to wake them up. They had to be invisible. Like a fairy – you know, wave a wand and it’s all done without the recipients’ knowledge. The book showed that some wealthy people were actually very messy. I thought, why not, when someone is there to clean up after you?
Margaret Macy is a great heroine. She learns from her mistakes and most importantly she learns that she has misjudged not just Nathaniel, but the people who are in service. Their lives are indeed much harder than she ever knew until she became one of them. Klassen brings to light in this story that we cannot know someone’s life unless we have walked in their shoes and how true it is!
A great and absorbing read!