Last week we had our monthly meeting of my neighborhood’s book club. We don’t have an official name, but I’ve dubbed us “My Neighbors Are Better Than Your Neighbors” because it’s true. I don’t usually write up full reviews for our selections, though that’s usually because I’ve already read and reviewed them on the blog. I told them a long time ago not to worry about choosing books I hadn’t read because I’m a book glutton and everyone should get to read what they want to read, you know? Plus, I have an unfair advantage with blogging and ARCs, so I’m kind of the worst. Anyway, this month was Jennifer’s turn to host and she picked a book I hadn’t read yet. Exciting!
Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor is a memoir by Rosina Harrison. She served for 35 years as a lady’s maid to Lady Nancy Astor, a temperamental world traveling Parliamentarian who often entertained royalty. Going into this book, I didn’t realize just how journal-like it was going to be. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty darn fascinating to read how the other half lived. I mean, changing clothes 5 times a day? Fancy hats? Butlers and footmen and scullery maids and jewelry so valuable you needed a security detail? I’ve not seen Downton Abbey, but I imagine fans of the show would enjoy this book… Except… There really was no scandal, no hijinks. No below stairs drama or major impropriety on the part of the family. It was all pretty well on the up and up. Which again, is lovely… But rather dull. I did take issue with a couple of things in this novel. First, there is a discussion of the Astor family’s fortune and Harrison decided it wasn’t even interesting enough to footnote the fact that JJ Astor perished aboard the Titanic (which believe you me, is super noteworthy. Especially if when you consider that Victor from The Young and the Restless played him in the blockbuster movie version of the tragedy.) Secondly, there were a lot of typos in there for a book that was professionally published. I’m not usually a stickler for these things, which means that if the average book has a few mistakes that I never even notice, this book had a lot more than a few. They even spelled “Astor” wrong once, like “aster” the flower, and that was just weird. So. Yeah. Not the best book ever. Of course, Jennifer then made some really fancy treats which totally made up for the lackluster book. How pretty are these?!
Talk to me Bookworms! Do you watch Downton Abbey? Am I missing everything?
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