Longbourn by Jo Baker
October 8th 2013
The servants at Longbourn estate–only glancingly mentioned in Jane Austen’s classic–take center stage in Jo Baker’s lively, cunning new novel. Here are the Bennets as we have never known them: seen through the eyes of those scrubbing the floors, cooking the meals, emptying the chamber pots. Our heroine is Sarah, an orphaned housemaid beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When the militia marches into town, a new footman arrives under mysterious circumstances, and Sarah finds herself the object of the attentions of an ambitious young former slave working at neighboring Netherfield Hall, the carefully choreographed world downstairs at Longbourn threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, up-ended. From the stern but soft-hearted housekeeper to the starry-eyed kitchen maid, these new characters come vividly to life in this already beloved world. Jo Baker shows us what Jane Austen wouldn’t in a captivating, wonderfully evocative, moving work of fiction.
I’ve been listening to a few literary podcast and have heard a few whispers about this book at BEA. How interesting would it be to read Pride and The Prejudice through the eyes of the servants. I’m also interested to see how this novel portrays the former slave (I’m assuming from America) mentioned in the synopsis.
The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder
Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.
As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity,insouciance, karma, and even happiness.
Have you ever looked at a book cover and wondered if you really liked it or didn’t? That’s how I feel about this book cover. Apart from that, I’m always one for books with more than one female protagonist. I want to pick up more contemporary and this sounds like a great read. It reminds me of the book P.S Longer Letter Later that I read so many times in high school.
What are you reading ? Link below !