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62. 'A Pearl For My Mistress' by Annabel Fielding

Friday, 22 September 2017


A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady's maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…


Set during the 1930s I knew I would enjoy this story from the get go, amongst the backdrop of the glamour of the 1930s, fascist Brits, Blackshirts, Political upheaval and class difference. 

We follow Hester as she journeys to London to become a lady's maid. She is bright and ambitious, following in her sister's footsteps to escape the dreary Northern town she had called home for so long. Finding a job within the Fitzmartin home to daughter Lucy secure's Hester her ticket to freedom, or so it seems. Very quickly Hester is swept up into Lucy's life, and the intrigues that follow - and very soon those intrigues begin to present very real problems for Hester when Lucy is swept into Oswald Mosley's Svengali-like glamour. Hester very much opposes the beliefs of Mosley and Lucy, and is challenged with the very real question - can love trump all, especially upon the backdrop of differing social classes and core beliefs? 

Fielding perfectly invokes the days gone by of Downton Abbey and I Capture The Castle, and those who love the 1930s era particularly will enjoy her first offering. I really enjoyed the contrasting lives of 'upstairs, downstairs' and feel she captured this brilliantly. While I did not mind the romance element I was drawn in more for the historical aspect of the story, but can see how it aided Fielding with adding another layer to the story. This is perfect for those seeking a romantic historical fiction and for those with an interest in the upheavals of the 30s, and how time was beginning to change for everyone, and having to work out where they stood as class systems began to be challenged and evolve into an entirely new creature, as the threat of war approaches. 

Rating: 4/5

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