Below Stairs by Margaret Powell

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell

I don't always like reading 'adult' books and usually prefer YA novels. But this nonfiction novel is such a pleasant read, and has inspired such a popular TV series that I want to make sure you hear about it.

I picked up my copy of Below Stairs because it looked promising and I was in need of a comfy December book. It was just that. 
Written in a conversational tone, it feels like Margaret Powell is sitting across from you (in the parlor with a cup of tea), telling her life story. And an interest life story it is. Taking place in 19020's England, she transports you back to a dull and grey time when classes and ranks were clearly divided. She tells of her youth and the few options she had as she grew older. 

Margaret's tale of how she entered a life of service as a maid, and a cook, for the upper English class, is spellbinding. A time of dances and tea, dinners and courting. It is a fun story that I couldn't put down. 

No wonder then that this book is what kick started the very popular TV series Downtown Abbey. I have so many addicted friends... I think you need to read this book. But I am scared to watch the series for I might get addicted to it too...

ISBN-10: 0330535382
ISBN-13: 978-0330535380

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher

I have already used Susan Fletcher's book Alphabet of Dreams in this review blog. If you haven't read it yet, treat yourself, this Christmas season, to reading this exquisite Christmas story! An amazing novel.

In this equally well written adventure, a serving girl faces the intrigues of a harem, the dangers of the streets, and the anger of the Sultan himself to find the needed ending to an incomplete story.

Remember Sheherazade, the Queen of stories of 1001 nights? This is the skillfully crafted tale of where she got her stories! As with Alphabet of Dreams, Susan Fletcher is a brave enough writer to take a tale we all know well, and adds the unknown background of the story as her own novel. 

Very talented, spellbinding books and well worth curling up with!

Paperback, Jean Karl Books, 224 pages
Aladdin ISBN 0689830513 (ISBN13: 9780689830518)