Title: A Pearl for My Mistress
Author: Annabel Fielding
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release Date: August 9, 2017
A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.
England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.
Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.
Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…
I love books set in England. I was excited to read this new historical fiction novel.
Because it was set in the 1930s, it kept reminding me of Downton Abbey. I kept picturing Lucy and Hester’s relationship like Mary and Anna from Downton, at least from their early friendship.
There were a bunch of parts that had high tension, such as someone being chased through a dark alley. But they were often resolved in a calm way. These parts had the potential for a lot of drama if they ended with more exciting twists.
I found the romantic relationship between two main characters unbelievable (I don’t want to give details to give away spoilers). There didn’t seem to be a valid reason that they loved each other. They just suddenly said it so it had to be true. I didn’t see their relationship grow and develop, so I wasn’t rooting for them.
I also thought the beginning of the story wasn’t a good introduction. It talked about characters that disappeared for quite a while, so I was lost when Hester’s story began. If that prologue wasn’t there, it would have been a much stronger beginning.
I would have liked to see Lucy’s parents. Lucy talked about them but they never appeared in the story. I also wondered why Lucy was being given a lady’s maid. Typically, only married women had a lady’s maid. And if the family could only afford a housekeeper and one housemaid, how could they afford the extra expense of a maid for their daughter? These things didn’t make sense.
This story was a unique historical fiction, though questionable at times.