Hi EDIWTB readers!
Exciting news: after a long hiatus, I am reviving the EDIWTB online book club! This is how it works: I choose a book, and the first 15 EDIWTB readers who want to read it get a review copy from the publisher. Once the books go out, we get about 3 weeks to read it. Then, on a pre-selected day, I post a review of the book here on EDIWTB, and the conversation around the book continues in the comments section. That’s it! Very simple.
In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.
Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.
I am a huge Pride and Prejudice fan, and while I haven’t given any of its other “sequels” a try, this one looked great. It was reviewed by Nicole of Linus’s Blanket in the awesome October edition of Bloggers Recommend (if you’re not already signed up for this monthly email newsletter, do so now!). Nicole says of Longbourn: “Clever, moving and insightful, Baker’s diverting narrative explores the dreams and working lives of the servants at Longbourn, the fictional estate of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Charming in its own right, it’s a must read for Austen fans.”
If you’re interested in participating in this online book club, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
No need to skip lines – just send it in a block that I can cut and paste. I will submit the first 15 names to Knopf for review copies.
Looking forward to resuming this tradition! Thank you to Knopf for facilitating the book club.