15/10/2011

Maid to Match (by Deeanne Gist)

I had never heard of the American writer Deeanne Gist, but I'm always on the lookout for free downloads for my Kindle. The blurb about this book sounded interesting, so when it was available free recently, I collected it.

'Maid to Match' is light historical fiction which I enjoyed reading on my Kindle during a flight to the UK. The story is set in the USA in the 19th century, and features Tillie, head housemaid in a wealthy home. She - at the urging of her mother over many years - hopes in time to become personal maid to the lady of the household. Work is hard, but the prestige and pay seem enticing. If she is to take this role, she must shun all romance...

Then onto the scene arrives Mack, twin brother to Earl who is another of the servants in the household where Tillie works. Earl is rather a ladies' man but Mack is rougher, and at first clashes quite badly with Tillie - and others - until his humanitarian side is revealed. There's a plot involving an orphanage too, with a most unpleasant manager, and some quite shocking events. And there's the somewhat inevitable love story.

I thought that this book was interesting as social history; at the back the author explains that the setting is based on a real estate with some genuine historical characters, although the story itself - and the staff in the house - are all fictional. The writing is good, the characters believable, and the pace works well. It's listed as Christian fiction, but although there were a few references to church and God, it's so low-key (and in context for the period and location) that I would hardly have noticed.

All in all, this book made pleasant light reading that was ideal for a flight. Nothing special, but an enjoyable story.

Note that Amazon links are to printed versions of this book as the Kindle versions not all available to everyone. However, the paperbacks are considerably more expensive so it's worth checking for alternatives. 

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 15th October 2011

1 comment:

Belgie said...

I was so completely enchanted by this novel that I was sad when I finished. In fact, I didn't even know that I was close to the end until I turned the page and there wasn't any more text. When I requested this novel from Goodread's book swap, I didn't expect to love it so much. I'm not a fan of Christian novels, but I didn't even know that it was such until I looked up more about the author. There were numerous references to the Christian god, and the character's relying on him for strength and guidance. However, the story was more about the characters and their relationships rather than their god.