Skip to main content

Recommended For You

Loading...

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

Item(s) unavailable for purchase
Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item(s) now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout.
itemsitem
itemsitem

Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
5 Stars
3 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
4 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
0 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
0 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
0 reviews have 1 stars

Share your thoughts

You've already shared your review for this item. Thanks!

We are currently reviewing your submission. Thanks!

Complete your review

All Book Reviews

  • Historical Fiction at its Finest!

    This book was so beautifully written I couldn't get enough. It is set in one of my favorite era's and Annabel depicted the 1930's time period perfectly. I also love Lucy's look on life and how she does her own thing. Now, when you put history and romance together I am one happy nerdy reader and I loved Hester and Lucy's relationship. The way they grow from being friends to falling in love was the best ever I just couldn't. It was perfect! As for the history parts of this book, Annabel did perfect and you could tell she really did her research. I was so happy that she didn't try to fake it like I have seen done with other historical fiction reads.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • An engaging, delightful read

    A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding, 384 pages, HQ Digital, August 9th, 2017, Genre: Historical Fiction. Warning: May Contain Spoilers. Review by Leigh Holland. Hester is an olive-skinned young English woman who secures a maidservant position at Habden House. She serves Lady Lucy, the family’s daughter. Hester comes from the North, the daughter of the poor working class, for whom starvation is but a day’s wage away. Her slang usage, accent, roots, and economic upbringing are considered inferior by those who employ her. However, Hester was taught there was honor, dignity, and security in service. If she knows and keeps her place, works hard, and is “a good girl”, she will be happy in the end. Hester’s ultimate dream is to see the world and find that special someone to share it with. Lady Lucy is a well-educated, single, aristocratic young English woman, raised to live up to parental expectations, to be “a good girl”. Failing to do so leads to being made to feel fragile, useless, expendable, powerless, and weak. Her step-mother and father have made her feel this way in the past on more than one occasion for failure to behave the way they demand. Lucy’s overriding goal is to never feel weak again, to never again be at the mercy of a stronger foe. Hester and Lucy grow increasingly closer until they become lovers. This would cause a scandal, so they keep the love affair a secret. The romantic elements are sweet and sensual without being graphic. As their love blooms, Hester believes they are forging a relationship of equals in private while maintaining the distinction between their classes in public. Can someone who has been taught all her life to view Hester as inferior ever really see her as an equal? Set in the 1930’s in Habden House, Melton Mowbray, and London, England, the plot involves Lucy’s blossoming journalism career, which she views as her pathway to freedom from her parents, and Lucy’s ever-increasing involvement with the British Union of Fascists. Over time, Lucy develops a double life- one as an aristocratic author deeply in love with her maid, and another as an agent of German interests, shaping public opinion in their favor during pre-WW II England. Given Hester’s mixed racial origins, Lucy’s alternate life inevitably causes friction when the two worlds collide. Will Lucy change her path or will their love affair end? My favorite character was Hester. A pillar of ethical strength, Hester never loses her core principles or personal code of honor. She betrays no one, despite being surrounded by snakes. Hester’s road is lonely, as most around her lack that kind of inner strength during troubling times. Hester balances being true to herself with the needs of others. No matter what the future may hold for Hester, she will face it with dignity, honor, and grace. My least favorite character was Lucy. Lucy is drawn to dark political ideals because she lacks inner strength. She is afraid everyone will see her weakness behind her carefully constructed facade. Lucy thinks strength comes from being in a position of power over others- the way her parents have been over her for her entire life. Rather than focusing on trying to help everyone rise above bad circumstances, Lucy can only feel good about herself if she can drag others down beneath her. Lucy slowly transforms into the people she despises most and remains blind to the fact. The character development and writing style shine brightly. The historical period is well-researched. Fielding has a beautiful way of weaving words into a wonderful design on the page. Her writing is a delight to read. Steady-paced, the plot is interesting, with its events presenting its characters with moral dilemmas. While I doubt I’d make the same choices some of the characters made, I understood their reasons for doing so. As an American reader, I was struck by the troubling parallels between social media propaganda and Russian collusion plots, and the efforts of German agents inside England prior to the war to try to sway England into an alliance with the Nazis through supporting sympathetic political aspirants and influencing the news articles disseminated among the populace. A unique and engaging read, I loved this novel. I’d recommend it to lovers of historical fiction, especially those who enjoy a bit of romance and intrigue.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • beautifully written and full of mystery

    This is the first book that I have by Annabel Fielding and certainly won’t be my last. The author takes us back to 1934 where we meet Hester Blake. This isn't my normal everyday read but with that gorgeous cover I thought I would give it a whirl. And to my surprise I really enjoyed it. I actually read this book in two sittings, and it is more of a slow burner compared to the books I normally read. The author has clearly done her research and with her stunning descriptions I felt right like I was in the story. Hester finds herself a job as a lady’s maid and fulls for her young mistress Lady Lucy. The story not only focuses on a lesbian love affair but also on the fascist movement. A Pearl for My Mistress is beautifully written and is full of mystery and secrets that will keep you turning the pages until the very end. I loved the historical setting which made the story something special. This is a must read for fans of Downton Abbey which I highly recommend giving it 4 stars.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • A historical fiction delineating class distinction

    I have always loved fiction set during the Regency times. They have always been romances. When this book was brought to my attention, I thought I would read it because I was curious how I would respond to a book set in the cusp of the after-lavish lives of the higher society. When I started reading the book, I felt it was a read about the forbidden love affair between a maid and her mistress. But as I continued, I realised there were so much more hidden between the pages. The story is set in times where war, within and without was imminent and the general public was hungry - for work and better lives and divided in their views. Hester joins as Lady Lucy's maid and gets to know her mistress better in personal and worldly lives. The world is painstakingly described in broad strokes. Though I wasn't much familiar with the time period, I was able to get the tenseness of the situation, the reality of the public and the high handedness of the higher society from the story. Maybe this is why the pace felt a bit slow for me. It meandered between the chapters and it portrayed how the scenes flowed with the characters' actions. The book showcases the issues of class and social caste and race distinction. The author has well developed characters with Lucy being the most intricate of them all. She changes hue as the story progresses and the political scene comes into play. The way she manipulates Hester through her emotions shows the unfathomable divide between master and servant. I enjoyed the richness of the history as much as the political mapping. I enjoyed the book with the precise writing and the intrigue involving politics. The romance was well done but it was only a branch of the main plot. The ending had me upset for a bit but then smoothed out with Abby's reaction. All in all, it was a well spent few hours reading the tale. I received an ARC for reviewing purposes. This doesn't impact my review in any way. My one line review : A historical fiction delineating class distinction and racial differences. My rating : 4.5/5 My reread factor : 3.5/5

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • different and interesting historical romance.

    A Pearl For My Mistress was a historical romance with political movements and life of upper class ladies and their involvement in it. It was all about gossips, scandal, political ploy, and forbidden relationship. Book was set in 1930s era of London and Nothumberland narrated alternatively by main characters Lucy, Hester and her sister Sophie. Characters Lady Lucy– she was a weak caged bird with strong, ambitious demeanor desperate to spread her wings and write a name in history. Dark childhood event tainted her soul with lifelong fear of nonexistence and hunger for power and position. She was interesting character to follow in the book. I liked her in the beginning and even felt empathetic for her but in later part of the story she turned totally different and opposite than I thought. Hester– She was sensible, caring, and loyal Lady’s maid. She was total opposite of Lady Lucy, never interested in politics and gossips. I liked her for sticking to her morals in all situation. I liked her love and concern regarding Sophie safety, but at the same time it felt like she was missing her point on ambitions and dream. It took me long to understand this character, first I felt like she was over caring and panicky but later I understood her concerns and at the end I like Hester. Sophie had quite a role in the book as Hester’s sister and also gave background on struggle of living in East end of London. What I liked- Writing was amazing and very different. It gave the feel of classic books. Sentences and usage of words were so royal. I was lost in golden writing like Hester in this book. First half of the book was brilliant. I enjoyed reading picturesque description of Hebden Hall and lavish hotels, ball dance and dresses. This part was all about Lucy’s childhood and her life in Henden Hall which was touching heartfelt story, Hester’s history and her growing relationship with Lucy. It was most important part in book to know about Lucy and Hester and as story progressed the understanding about this character was getting clearer. Another thing I loved in first half was Hester’s love for reading and books and Lucy’s passion of writing articles. The poetic phrases during the conversations was beautifully narrated. Second half of the book was little difficult for me to process. Whole political thing was new to me. I didn’t know about all the facts during this era mentioned in this part of the book. It was heavy with Hunger march, Cinema disaster and Blackshirt rallies, and fascism. I almost googled everything to know it better. So, book was slow for me and all conspiracy and plotting made it even harder to understand this aspect. But I got the basic picture of all these thing by the end of the book. It was focused more on Lucy’s involvement in political affairs and less on her relationship with Hester. Their clashing view and sinking boat of relationship made the book spicy and dramatic. Climax was surprising and like the way book ended. Still I wanted to know more about later part of the story specifically about Lucy. I liked all to reads about maid’s life in 1930s in this book. Reference books author mentioned in author’s note at the end sounds interesting and I’m going to look at it later and might read this book again to get clearer picture. It also showed how well researched this story was. why not 5 stars- Little slow and as I was not aware of historical facts it was hard to understand for me. But it was just me not book. As I said with little more knowledge on this political history would made it easier to understand. Overall, book was different and interesting right from writing to concept. those who love to read historical romance and political things would love this book.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • DESKTOP
  • eREADERS
  • TABLETS
  • IOS
  • ANDROID