Top positive review
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Downton Abbey meets Titanic
on 26 December 2012
If you love Downton Abbey you will love this book. I loved the way it was written with the old lady who had been a servant at the house remembering her past (just like the titanic film) as she is at the end of her life. So often when I sat with my own gran she would drift off into a kind of dream and go pale, I can only think this author has experienced the same with an elderly relative. She captures perfectly how the old drift from present to past, and how past incidents are remembered so clearly whilst they experience the loss on here and now.
Unlike the other reviews I did not find it a slow start. I like all the background to get you in the scene and none of it was superfluous to the story. Masterfully written often with a poetic turn of phrase the author hints at past scandle and allows you to work the story as you go along. It will magically transport you back to a time when servants cared more for their masters and mistresses than their own lives and happiness. The devotion and loyalty these people felt to their employers is hard to comprehend in this day and age. When the elite could cover up scandle so well, angling events to suit their need and often changing how we view history by these actions. The social boundaries were so well defined and this book emphasises that with great clarity. You really feel the optimism of the twenties with the young things of the day scandalising the older generation. You will also feel the entrapment many of this generation felt who after the great war wanted freedom, but were caught by their class boundaries to know their place and be patronised by everyone around them. The seemingly glittering life of luxury Hannah has is marred by her own sense of adventure and intelligence which is firmly put down by all who surround her, leaving her to seek an escape that can only lead to tragedy.
This is the second book I have read by this author and I am going to read all her others as I am sure I will enjoy them. I read this on my kindle and can imagine it must be a huge book in paper form so dont think of it as a quick sunday afternoon read - it is a beautifully written epic that will take many hours of reading. From the moment you start you will forget all the other things you have to do because you will not want to put it down.