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...