Author: Jo Baker
Summary: Running concurrent with Pride and Prejudice, Longbourn takes a bit of a different look at the Bennet family. While Jane and Lizzy and the other Bennets make appearances, the primary focus on the book is below stairs, on the lives of the servants. Following Mr. and Mrs. Hill, Sarah, and Polly as well as the new footman James Smith, Baker tells the story that was happening in the kitchen as the events of Pride and Prejudice occur above stairs.
Review: Although it took me a bit to really get into this book, in the end, I really enjoyed it. I love a good Pride and Prejudice spin-off, so this was right up my alley, and since I’ve read a fair number of these books, I was surprised to find one that is so creative and different from other books. I especially enjoyed the story of Sarah who, through the book, grew up and discovered what the world is made of and found the strength to deal with it all. While Baker’s portrayal of some characters in the book fit perfectly with Austen’s, others left a bit to be desired, and for much of the book, I found myself missing the connection to those characters. Overall, a good book, but not the best spin-off I’ve read.
Rating: 3 stars