Upstairs, downstairs, and in which lady’s chamber?
On the brink of World War II, two girls are sent to the grand English country estate of Starkers. Hannah, the half-Jewish daughter of a disgraced distant relative, has been living an artistic bohemian life in a cabaret in pre-war Germany and now is supposed to be welcomed into the family. Anna, the social-climbing daughter of working-class British fascists, is supposed to be hired as a maid so that she can spy for the Nazis. But there’s a mix-up, and nice Hannah is sent to the kitchen as a maid while arrogant Anna is welcomed as a relative.
And then both girls fall for the same man, the handsome heir of the estate . . . or do they?
In this sparkling, saucy romance, nearly everything goes wrong for two girls who are sent to a grand English estate on the brink of World War II—until it goes so very, very right
So who doesn’t like a light romantic comedy every once in a while, right? (In fact, I am a hopeless romantic.) And this is exactly what it is: a very light, very comedic (depending on how you think) romance story.
The ridiculousness of the book really made it different. By ridiculousness – I mean it was freaking ridiculous. The plot was built on assumptions and misunderstandings. But it wasn’t bad! It just depends on how you are. I mean, if you can accept ridiculous premises, silly characters, and a fluffy plot, you’re good to go for this book! If you like emotional depth and characters that have more common sense, then step away.
We start with the introduction of Anna, a blonde busty miss who, even though has low birth, hunts for a wealthy match. She is superficial throughout the book and looks for superiority. Basically a character trope of a gorgeous gold-digger. She’s put in the Starkers’ estate as a housemaid to spy for the Nazis.
Then we introduce the more main character of the book, Hannah, who is a Jew (on her father’s side) who should’ve been an opera singer but instead goes to her relatives’ home for refuge. She arrives at the estate but is seen as a servant while Anna as the distant relative. So the girls switch spots from the beginning and madness ensues.
Anna falls in love with Teddy, our heir of the estate, (or rather, his title and money) while Hannah also falls in love with him (and he with her, although only at nighttime). Add the hot under-gardener and we make some cute couples that appear through obstacles and misunderstandings. From this premise, you can really tell that
The book was really just cute, and light, and fluffy, and silly. The dialogue was pretty nice, actually, and moved the plot along.
With such a silly premise, readers shouldn’t get too emotionally attached with the characters and shouldn’t be surprised if the characters can’t recognize people in the dark. And fall in love after a single conversation. It’s all good. I think I was taking this so seriously in the beginning that every page I was like, “Why is s/he such a fucking idiot.” Legit, I was almost crying because of how stupid everybody was.
But after getting rid of expectations of a book with characters that had more common sense, I enjoyed it better.
Although the book takes place in WWII, actual war matters aren’t really touched on. Of course, the characters get a little close with the politics, but the main plot is still the romance around the couples.
Ending with a perfectly wrapped happily-ever-after, this book is for people who are looking for a light (but super-dupersuperduperhella unrealistic) read and don’t want to think about matters too complicatedly.