Published Oct 15, 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 512 pages (includes an extract of The Best of Daughters)
I thoroughly enjoyed Dilly Court's The Lady's Maid, which captivated my interest from the first to the last page. Kate and Josie were born on the same night and because of circumstances were raised in societies far different from their mothers who were forced to give them up at birth. Kate is a servant and has known only poverty in her life, but she is kind and optimistic. Josie grows up a spoiled girl having known only luxury and privilege. These two girls grow up together and both face different hardships until the circumstances of their birth is revealed and it changes their lives.
Court has built believable and memorable characters in this novel. I liked both the main characters although at times I wanted to smack Josie. Although this is a character-driven story, there is a lot of action. The story is never boring. There is always something happening in the lives of these girls. I felt Kate's desperation and Josie's too, but the way the two of them handled it showed their true characters. Josie was impulsive and conniving to get her way, whereas Kate put others ahead of herself even in dire situations. Sometimes I thought Kate was too good, too perfect.
I went through a range of emotions as I read this book. Court deals with poverty, death, courtship, betrayal, friendships, injustice and family issues. Although there is romance, this is not the main focus of the story, but rather the lives of two girls whose lives are entwined more than they know. Another character that I really liked was Boy and I wished he would have played a bigger role in the story.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
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Dilly Court grew up in North-east London and began her career in television, writing scripts for commercials. She is married with two grown-up children and four grandchildren, and now lives in Dorset on the beautiful Jurassic Coast with her husband.
Dilly is a Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author in the UK, where she has sold over a million books to date. Her books have this year been released for the first time as ebooks in the United States. Print and e-editions are available in Canada and Australia.
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