Recently I discovered a book by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey. His book Belgravia is set a century before the Grantham family, so many of the themes of class are even more stringent.
Fellowes begins by noting that regardless of time period, similarities exist:
“Ambition, envy, rage, greed, kindness, selflessness, and above all, love have always been as powerful in motivating choices as they are today.”
For me, this book was completely engrossing. Like Downton Abbey, the plot moves around the themes quoted above plus new money vs. old money and upstairs (aristocracy) and the downstairs (their service help). Like in Downton Abbey, I loved most of the characters and hated a couple.
I classify it as more of an entertaining read over a literary read but there’s nothing wrong with that! It was a well written story, and for a few days (trust me that’s all it will take you to read it) I felt like I was somewhere near the world of Downton again.
3 out of 4 Downton Abbey fans love this book
I have a group of ladies I have watched Downton with (Highclaire Honies we call ourselves) and when I found out about this book I asked them all to read it – it would, after all, be another excuse to get together!
Even though it took us more than 3 hours of chatting, laughing, and eating to even remember we were supposed to be talking about this book – ha! – when we did, I found that three of four of us loved it.
Like me, one friend pretty much loved everything about the book even though she admitted that it was a slow start for her.
Another said she felt the story line was somewhat predictable but said, “Just like Downton Abbey I savored every minute of working through that story.”
The third lady said it just wasn’t her type of book. She prefers faster paced thrillers and isn’t interested “in reading paragraphs about how the furniture is set up in a room or who is part of what family.” LOL!
So there you have it, if you loved Downton Abbey there is a 75% chance you will love this book!
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