by Jo Baker

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Review

If you check out this ebook expecting any kind of retelling, variation, or continuation of Pride and Prejudice, you will be disappointed.   This story takes place in the same world as Jane Austen’s beloved novel and does include all of the original characters you may be hoping to read about, however, it centers instead on the downstairs life at Longbourn.   As a standalone novel, it is very well done; as a companion novel to Pride and Prejudice, it is excellent, especially if you ever wanted to know more about how the characters might have lived during the Regency (and you are not prone to romanticize the past).  It serves as a gritty reminder of a servant’s life in Regency times, one almost completely dependent on the vagaries of his or her master.  I also believe it offers a fuller picture of the world of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—one that explores what goes on behind the scenes of Austen's drawing rooms and balls.  The main character is Sarah, an orphaned housemaid in the Bennet household, although the perspectives of the housekeeper/cook, Mrs. Hill, and James, the footman are also explored.  Baker has brought to life a realistic cast of characters in a well-imagined world, one that, I feel, is just as absorbing as Pride and Prejudice.

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