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Publisher's Summary

From the award-winning novelist and writer of Upstairs Downstairs, the third book in a brilliant trilogy about what life was really like for masters and servants before the world of Downton Abbey.

England, 1903. Lord Robert and Lady Isobel Dilberne and the entire grand estate, with its hundred rooms, is busy planning for a visit from Edward VII and Queen Alexandra just a few months a way. Preparations are elaborate and exhaustive: the menus and fashions must be just so, and so must James, the new heir and son of Arthur Dilberne and Chicago heiress, Minnie O'Brien. But there are problems. Little James is being reared to Lady Isobel's tastes, not Minnie's. And Mrs. O'Brien is visiting from America and causing trouble. Meanwhile, the Dilbernes' niece, Adela is back and stirring up hysteria in the servants hall by claiming the house is cursed. The royal visit is imperiled, but so are the Dilberne finances once more. His Lordship is under tremendous stress, and the pecking order will soon be upset as everything at Dilberne Court changes.

The New Countess is the final novel in Fay Weldon's exciting trilogy that began with Habits of the House and Long Live the King. The best-selling novelist and award-winning writer of the pilot episode of the original Upstairs Downstairs lifts the curtain on British society, upstairs and downstairs, under one roof.

©2013 Fay Weldon (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Katherine Kellgren shines in this third book of a trilogy that is perfect for fans of 'Downton Abbey.' The cast of characters spans social classes and countries, and Kellgren is consistently spot-on with her accents and voices. More than simply differentiating between voices, Kellgren fullys inhabits the multitude of characters, infusing them with such emotions as to make crystal clear their hopes, dreams, and ambitions." ( AudioFile)

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The last installment of a delicious story line

This was the last of three novels; I will say at this point: if you have not read the first two, put this down and go read the others--in order-- before you embark on this journey. The books can easily stand alone, each by itself, but reading them in order adds so much to the story. The characters are wonderfully delineated and each is an old friend by the time the reader reaches the terminal, so the story as it is told simply continues to the terminus as it started out.
The narrator is very well chosen for the entire series; her accent adds so much validity.
I cannot give any facts up, because to do so would give up not one book's plot, but the entire series. I simply must allow that I absolutely encourage any reader to digest the entire series. You will be delighted that you did!

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