AUTHOR: Natasha Solomons
GENRE: Fiction, Historical Fiction
SETTING(S) : 1940s, England and Vienna, Austria
SUBJECT: World War II, social status, love, family and jews
MAIN CHARACTERS : Elise Landau (servant), Kit Rivers (heir of Tyneford), Christopher Daniel Rivers (father of Kit), Julian Landau (father of Elise), Anna Landau (mother of Elise), Margot Landau (sister of Elise), Mr.Wrexham (butler) and Mrs. Ellsworth (house keeper & cook)
SUMMARY: Daughter of a German novelist and opera singer 19-year-old Elise has known a life filled with concerts, parties and other social gatherings. On the brinks of World War II this is about to change. Her sister Margot moves to America with her husband Robert to start a new life. Elise leaves her mother and father to travel to England to become a parlor maid for a wealthy English family.
Unaware of the dangers that she has left behind Elise embarks a new journey and life in England. She finds love and happiness at the cost of everything she holds dear. Will she be able to recover from the loses in order to gain life long happiness? And will she be able to escape the dangers of war?
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Many readers would describe this book a lot like “Downton Abbey”. I on the other hand would say it is “Downton Abbeyish” but it also has a little bit of the “Land Girls” aspect too. I thought this book was very compelling and really wanted all the characters to remain the way they were before the war. Her world really did turn up side down even up to the end. But was glad that she found some happiness in her new life even if it wasn’t what I expected it to be.
The writing was very compelling and I cheered for Elise all the way up to the end. I loved all the characters because there were so many real life human characteristics in everyone. You hoped that everyone in Elise’s world would not change too much due to the fact of World War II. But like in real life war does change people and sometimes what you want is not what you will always get.
If you love reading and compelling stories like “Downton Abbey” or “Land Girls” you’ll definitely like this book. Like both of the stories, it is about the life of a young girl whose roles change from society girl to servant then to something else as different things happen to her. Interested in reading about the social classes of the early 1940s or even about civilian life this is a book for you to read.