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on 24 October 2017
Bought this book from SPLENDID BOOKS in perfect condition. The story has conflict, wit, well-drawn characters and a succession of twists and turns. The servants are far superior to their employers; the women unite against the male villain. An excellent novel both as a well-made tale and as a view of a by-gone age. It arrived promptly and I'd finished it before it was due. Persephone Books (Publishers) produce beautiful volumes which it's a joy to keep. Frances Hodgson Burnett is thought of as a children's author now but she has written some novels which inform us about society and the position of women. Read this thought-provoking story.
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on 28 May 2011
As a child I had read Little Lord Fauntleroy and loved The Secret Garden but discovered this book only recently. It is the story of Emily Fox-Seton, an unmarried woman of genteel birth, who scrapes a living performing errands for those more financially fortunate than herself. She is large but beautiful, sensible and a good organiser, but simple in that she fails to see what is in the minds of those around her and, being of such a kindly disposition herself, cannot imagine that anyone would wish her ill.

The first part of the story relates to her life in a basic room in London, where she earns the devotion of the daughter of the house. How her fortunes change is a fascinating and absorbing read. The second part develops into a melodramatic tale of jealousy and malicious plotting, but even Emily appreciates the melodrama and comments lightly upon it.

The book is a portrait not only of the gentle Emily but also of Victorian and Edwardian life, from the excesses of the upper classes to the hopelessness of women whom marriage has passed by, the uncertainty and despair of those without the means to support themselves. It also reflects the attitudes then prevalent to those of a different race and colour who were generally viewed with suspicion and prejudice.

While it may not be the best of literature, it is easy and enjoyable, and well worth the read.
One person found this helpful
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on 7 August 2017
I liked this story and recommend it as being well worth reading.
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on 20 January 2014
Loved the wonderful use of language which gave the story a depth and grandeur of its time. Great twist towards the end. could be regarded as heavy going as very detailed. I loved it though and HAD to finish it but was sorry when I did!
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on 18 October 2013
An adult book by Hodgson Burnett. What was originally a contemporary romantic thriller is now a delightful and light historical romantic thriller
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on 6 February 2013
It is an interesting book in that it shows a good portrayal of life in the early 1900's in England. There is an underlying dark plot from the Asian sub-continent with a number of twists and turns. It builds to a climax with a "soft" landing.
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on 13 December 2013
I came across this book by chance , and it was a wonderful surprise, beautifully written and with an unexpected plot emerging part way through the book . I would recommend this book and have bought a copy for my mother for Christmas .
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on 13 March 2013
This novel provides a now old fashioned role model for young women as the heroine is a mixture of Austen's Fanny Price who always does the right thing as well as being trapped in a Gothic novel situation with a touch of cinderella thrown in
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on 29 April 2013
Had not known of this novel. Interesting read, not one of her best, plot is contrived, but good on the plight of penniless upper-class spinsters. A melodramatic plot that would make a good film.
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on 4 March 2013
I love this story, it is full of period detail, and the heroine is very quiet but complex nonetheless. Well done Kindle for keeping it available, I suspect it may be out of print otherwise.
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