An enchanting first novel from author Anabel Fielding, A Pearl for my Mistress is the story of Hester a bright, ambitious working class girl who longs to escape the dreary Northern town where she grew up. Her sister, a singer with a jazz band has already escaped to London and Hester too dreams of the bright lights and the chance to find love and to be herself. Hester believes that a job as a lady's maid will offer that escape. She finds employment with the Fitzmartin family, accepting a tiny salary for the chance to find excitement as lady's maid to their wild and unpredictable daughter Lucy. This is 1934 and many aristocratic families are living in straightened circumstances and a life in service doesn't appeal to the majority of young women but Hester is soon caught up in the whirlwind of Lucy's exciting, aristocratic life and entranced by Lucy herself. but her loyalty to Lucy will be tested when she realises that her Mistress is involved in a dangerous game. Lucy has begun to write to supplement her meager allowance and to express her political opinions which are very different from her parents'. Lucy falls under the spell of Mosley and the Blackshirts and that begins to have very real consequences for Hester. Leaving the young maid with a dilemma can she put aside her own views for love?
A perfect novel for fans of Downtown Abbey, Love in a Cold Climate or I Capture the Castle this wonderfully researched story evokes a bygone era of debutantes and London seasons, of shooting parties and smoky Jazz clubs. The contrasting lives of upstairs and downstairs are brilliantly drawn and the language is spot on for the era. If like me you love reading about The Mitford Sisters then this little gem will be right up your street.
Published by HQ Digital. Thanks to NetGalley and the author for a chance to read this book. You can download this book now for only £1.01 or $1.36 in the USA, making it a perfect comfort read for a wet and dreary afternoon, follow the links below.