by Kate Worsley

Reviewer Rating:


It is 1740, and life isn't easy if you're not one of the upper class. Louise Fletcher is a country dairy maid, summoned to the coast and Harwich to become a lady's maid to Rebecca, a captain's daughter hoping to marry well. We follow Louise's story as she learns the ways of the house and as her affection for Rebecca grows, even as she almost loses her to small pox. Interspersed with Louise's story is that of Luke, pressed into the royal navy after a drunken night in a tavern, he finds himself learning the ways of the sea and how to deal with the dangers and delights of shipboard life. The juxtaposition of these tales--female and male, proper and crass, sedate and adventurous, makes for a much more fast paced read than I had expected from a historical novel. The characters and descriptions are vivid. Other reviews of this title talk about a surprise ending, and although the manner these stories met wasn't that surprising to me, I still found the voices and narrative to be quite compelling.

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