It's a beach chair read - not much depth, predictable, characters do not seem to evolve of develop much. Found it very shallow in style (not content - that is actually supposed to be shallow). Not nearly as Downtony as I'd like or Gosford Park-ish as suggested in the book.
I was a little disappointed in the storyline. Not as good as the things he writes for tv and films. It was delivered promptly and in perfect condition. I have read it but would not want to keep it to read again
Entertaining slices of upper middle class and above English life though they certainly are, Julian Fellowes' novels- and it is a matter of deep regret that he has only graced our shelves with two to date - are so much more than that: they are anthropological treasure troves of their not so far back period as well as the social group about which is he clearly so well informed. It would be easy to mock some of the customs and traditions which are described with the sharp observational skills of a classic "outsider" but it is unquestionably true that it is only because he is at the same time very much an insider and participant that he is really in a a position to enlighten his readers about them at all. Lord Fellowes has an uncanny ability to dissect a relationship between two people with a startling brevity. "She had to keep him in his place, but she also had to keep him," surely tells us so much about a marriage in just 15 simple words in sharp contrast to the thousands that others would feel they would have to employ. His characters are always three dimensional and are beguiling in that they are always flawed but usually complex and likeable at the same time and he sets the scene in both novels in a captivating way but most especially "Past Imperfect," which has strong autobiographical overtones that give us some insight into at least part of the character of the popular writer and peer we see today.