The Girl Below Stairs by Jennie Felton
Edie Cooper has grown up at Fairley Terrace, surrounded by a loving family. Now she spends her days working as lady's maid to Christina, the adopted daughter of the powerful Fairley family, and her nights dreaming of a life with handsome local lad Charlie Oglethorpe. Although broken-hearted when Charlie leaves to make his fortune in London, Edie finds consolation in her friendship with Christina, who asks for her help in uncovering the mystery of her true parentage. But someone in the grand house will stop at nothing to keep the long-buried secrets hidden. Will Edie be able to protect Christina? And will she find her own path to happiness with Charlie?
This is the third book in The Families of Fairley Terrace saga. Each book is the story of one family who live in the terrace but they are easily read as stand alone books.
The story begins in 1895 when a baby is found on the steps of the local Catholic Church on Christmas Eve in a little village in Somerset.
Fifteen years later Edie Cooper who is in service at Fairley Hall as a maid is being promoted to a Lady's Maid to Christina, Lady Elizabeth's adopted fifteen year old daughter.
The book is full of secrets and lies, mysteries and unrequited love. There are good people and bad within both the upper and the lower class. Money does not make you a nice person and neither does the lack of it.
Trying to forget her lost love Edie throws herself into finding out who Christina's real mother is but in doing so she could also discover secrets belonging to someone else. Danger lurks when that person will stop at nothing to get want they want.
Edie is a character you take to straightaway. She's kind,hardworking and longing for someone who can never be hers.
Quilla, Lady Elizabeth's maid is the character you love to hate. She is a vile woman who makes life hard for those around her.
One of the characters Julia becomes involved in the suffragette movement and I thought that was an interesting part of the book. Goodness,women were so downtrodden back then and it seemed to be frowned upon to go anywhere or do anything without a man by your side.
I thought I had guessed some of the secrets,but I was wrong. There are a few surprises towards the end that made this book hard to put down and it did have a great ending.
I love reading a series of books as each time a new one is written it's like pulling over a familiar comfy blanket and curling up at the fireside for a cracking good read.
If you have enjoyed Josephine Cox or Catherine Cookston in the past you will enjoy this book.
Jennie Felton's next book will be called The Widow's Promise and there's a preview of it at the end of The Girl below stairs that leaves me wanting more.
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