The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.




My last five days have been spent reading the incredible novel, Longbourn (A) by Jo Baker.

Similar to Downtown Abbey (a favorite of mine), Jo Baker explores the lives of the servants working for the Bennet family of Pride and Prejudice (another favorite).  As we are reminded of the events unfolding in Pride and Prejudice, the author tells of the activities occurring belowstairs. There, Sarah the orphan, now housemaid is the main character. Raised under the care of Mrs. Hill the head housekeeper, Sarah has grown into a beautiful and loving young woman. She hopes that one day she can explore the world outside Hertfordshire and find a life she can claim as her own. Until then, she lives in servitude tending the every need of the Bennet family.

Despite her initial unfriendly attitude toward James, the new footman, love wins out and they carry on in secret. When it comes to secrets though it is James that holds many, and he isn’t alone either. Eventually fearing that his cover is blown, he leaves Sarah and his coveted position at Hertfordshire. Sarah along with everyone is devastated. She lives for the moment she can be with him again.

With wonderfully written characters such as Sarah, Mrs. Hill and Polly, the author delivers an engaging novel that quenched this reader’s thirst for a Jane Austen novel. I love the notion that there was a simultaneous story to Pride and Prejudice. I couldn’t have imagined one more perfect than Longbourn.

So for those like me to can’t get enough of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey, get a copy of Longbourn immediately. Be prepared to do nothing else until you have devoured every written word. Bravo, Jo Baker!!!!! You have made me very happy.


One response to “Longbourn

  1. susanbright February 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorites. I will definitely check this one out. Thank you Rosanne!

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