The Lady's Maid
About this deal
If you like historical fiction with strong personalities, tangles built out of society’s expectations, a love story, and a touch of mystery, this is one not to miss. Two desperate young mothers give up their babies on the same day, and while Kate grows up in poverty, Josie lives a privileged life.
Two female babies denied their birth mothers and brought up in very different, yet side by side circumstances. It begins in the night on a hill where a Romany woman awaits the birth of her daughter’s illegitimate child for whom she has arranged a home. Another flaw is that several times when the principle characters are at rock bottom, rescuers suddenly appear out of nowhere.
I never truly liked Josie, raised as a lady, because she is unthinking, hypercritical, and selfish, but I came to appreciate her flawed but contrite nature. I also feel these books should have a glossary to show the meaning of some words as I always have to refer to a dictionary for a number of words. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This fit the bill: a princess and the pauper fairytale, as it were, with evil uncles and stepmother, two foundlings, honorable men (and a few dishonorable ones), and a story that rockets between country estates and London's East End, and a happy ending, of course. The child of a noblewoman born out of wedlock is also in her care after she found the mother already in labor by the river.Still, rather than being bitter toward her childhood friend, Kate does her best to help Josie come safely through whatever wild plan she’s dragged Kate into. Bottom line, the story is nicely resonant of its historical setting, shedding light on the biases and foul behaviors as much as the strength of bonds even when society would frown on them. One of the men, despite being smitten, leads another girl on for almost the entire book and although there are suggestions that it's to protect her honour, this is suspect and doesn't quite ring true given the circumstances. She lived in the rat infested stables with the smell of horses clinging to her hair and clothes, while Josephine Damerell, the spoilt, petted and over-indulged daughter of the house, dwelt in luxury.
From the start, the story regarding two babies born on the same day and delivered by the same woman seemed a bit unlikely.
The first portrayal was enough to make me worry the author shared the views of that period, but then as the story unfolds, a much more nuanced view comes into play. Dilly Court grew up in North-east London and began her career in television, writing scripts for commercials. While some might protest the love story for Kate and Harry (a man whose wealth comes from trade), including Kate, there are enough historical accounts to show that love did defeat the class and wealth barriers, especially among those who earned their wealth.
You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. Although the reader can see the way the book will go the reader stays interested and needs to find out how things unwind. The Romany grandmother finds a safe home for this girl as well, both children growing up believing themselves legitimate.There is no relationship development or apparent getting to know each other before they are suddenly smitten. Kate, on the other hand, takes charge of every circumstance with her practical hard working personality, overcoming every obstacle except her sense of place. As the years have passed, Kate has grown up knowing only poverty and servitude, whilst Josie's world is one of privilege and luxury. I know this happens in fiction, but usually it's because they are seeking the person they suddenly find. Kate hurried homeward as fast as the iron-clad pattens would allow, wrapping her thin shawl a little tighter around her head and shoulders.