Kinx's Book Nook: Review: The Companion of Lady Holmeshire

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: The Companion of Lady Holmeshire

The Companion of Lady Holmeshire
Written by Debra Brown
Published by World Castle Publishing
Released on July 3, 2011
268 Pages
Historical Fiction


A baby girl, Emma, is found in a basket on Squire Carrington's doorstep. She is raised and sent to work as a servant girl for The Countess of Holmeshire. The widowed and unconventional Countess chooses Emma Carrington as a companion and sends her off for finishing with the goal of dragging her along into aristocratic, "polite", Victorian society. As a former servant girl and now just a companion, she is sure to have a rude reception. 

She has eyes for the young Earl of Holmeshire, but it is hopeless he is above her station in life and engaged by arrangement to a lovely London lady. Tribulations and banned romances of the servants downstairs play into the story humorously as we follow Emma from a stone fortress to a Victorian village and grand London mansions. Great surprises unfold at a Midsummer Night's Dream Ball that help to solve mysteries which have gradually developed. But there is
yet another great twist in the story at the end. Can you predict what it is?

The Companion of Lady Holmeshire is a lovely piece of historical fiction filled with rich descriptions of Victorian Society. Debra Brown has given us a delightful tale about Emma Carrington and her adventures into London society. And I have to say that I DID NOT predict the twist at the end; and what a twist it was.

Debra Brown provided the reader with such rich detail of Victorian London. I was able to picture it in my mind so easily. The lovely gowns, the stately homes and, also, the utter desolation of the poor. At the heart of this book is the underlying descrimination of the lower and working classes of England. Ms. Brown captured, beautifully, the extreme cattiness of the London Ton. To all appearances Emma is a lowly servant in the eyes of many that has intruded on their way of life. She is not welcomed in their presence. The nobility treat her as an unwanted outcast. However, she lifts her chin proudly to earn her place. 

Ms. Brown really captured the awful living conditions of the the extreme poor of London. I don't know how accurate it is of high-born nobility to take on such philanthropic work; but it described how some of the most destitute lived in London. In particular, Lady Genevieve's transformation from a spoiled, high-born aristocrat to a charitable Lady really emphasized the extreme poverty that existed in London. Genevieve witnessed a young mother with her new-born son freezing on the streets of London and that experience changed her life. I loved the idea of such transformation but I'm not sure if that truly existed among the nobility. However, Ms. Brown gives me hope.

I really enjoyed this book; however, I will say that the ending was a little too perfect. A little too happily ever after. Please don't get me wrong - I love a happy ending! But this one was a little too perfect. After reading The Companion of Lady Holmeshire, I'm a new fan of Debra Brown. I look forward to her new works.


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