In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.
"Extraordinary book (even w/o Pride & Prejudice)"
Paris, 1939: The pavement rumbles with the footfalls of Nazi soldiers marching along the Champs Elysees. A young writer, recently arrived from Ireland to make his mark, smokes one last cigarette with his lover before the city they know is torn apart. Soon he will put his own life and the lives of his loved ones in mortal danger by joining the Resistance....
Most people who talk about motherhood start out by telling you how much they always wanted to be a mom. Not Lisa-Jo Baker. She was 18 and growing up in South Africa when her mom died, and she swore she would never have kids. But then she fell in love with an American boy with cowboy-green eyes, married him, and now, a decade and two continents later, they have three. This is the unlikely story of how she got there.
"Encouragement is a Superpower"
When war breaks out in Europe in 1939, a young unknown writer journeys from his home in neutral Ireland to conflict-ridden Paris and is drawn into the maelstrom. With him we experience the hardships yet stubborn vibrancy at the heart of Europe during the Nazis' rise to power, his friendships with James Joyce and other luminaries, his quietly passionate devotion to the Frenchwoman who will become his lifelong companion, his secret work for the French Resistance and narrow escapes from the Gestapo....
When Rachel sets off, alone, for her mother's isolated country house, she promises herself that the business of packing up and selling will only take a couple of weeks, and then she'll be home again, back to normal. But, from the moment she steps through the front door, Rachel feels that the house contains more than she had expected: along with the memories of her mother, there is something else, a presence - not quite tangible - trying to make itself felt.
"Terrible audio version"
Malin has always been different, and when her father dies, leaving her alone, her choice is clear: stay and remain an outsider forever or leave in search of the mythical inheritance she is certain awaits her. Apprenticed to a series of strange and wonderful characters, Malin embarks on a grueling journey that crosses oceans and continents - from the high seas to desert plains - and leads to a discovery that she could never have expected.
"Didn't like the story"
If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah thought, she would be more careful not to trudge through muddy fields. It is wash-day for the housemaids at Longbourn House, and Sarah's hands are chapped and bleeding. Domestic life below stairs, ruled tenderly and forcefully by Mrs Hill the housekeeper, is about to be disturbed by the arrival of a new footman smelling of the sea, and bearing secrets.
This is the story of the Hasting family - their secrets, their loves and losses, dreams and heartbreaks - captured in a seamless series of individual moments that span the years between the first World War and the present.
The novel opens in 1914 as William, a young factory worker, spends one last evening at home before his departure for the navy.… His son Billy, grows into a champion cyclist and will ride into the D-Day landings on a military bicycle.… His son in turn, Will, struggles with a debilitating handicap to become an Oxford professor in the 1960s.
"A wonderful 4-generation family saga."
Against the backdrop of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, recent Oxford graduate Claire is a mess. She's trapped in a disastrous relationship with a young academic, working a dead-end job, stunned by the emergence of secrets from her mother's past, and seemingly addicted to self-destructive behavior. But like the ceasefire that has brought renewed hope to Belfast, Claire too is afforded an opportunity to reflect, gradually learning to accept herself and to discover her sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
Set against the rolling backdrop of a century of British history from the First World War to today, this is a family portrait captured in snapshots. First there is William, the factory lad who loses his life in Gallipoli. Then there is his son Billy, a champion cyclist who faces the D-Day Landings on a military bicycle, followed by his crippled son Will, who becomes an Oxford academic in the 1960s. Finally there is his daughter Billie, an artist in contemporary London.