From internationally bestselling author Dilly Court comes a breathtaking historical saga about fate, friendship, and family
Born on the same night in the summer of 1854, two infants are ripped away from their young mothers. Kate lives the life of a servant, penniless and shackled to her circumstances, while Josie grows up in the lap of luxury, given privilege and freedom she takes for granted.
Although their lives couldn't be more different, Kate and Josie have been friends since childhood. But their past binds them together in ways they must never know.
Until a chance meeting with a gypsy woman in the street forces Kate and Josie to confront the truth of their pasts—a truth that turns both worlds upside down and threatens their friendship and their very lives.
|Product dimensions:||4.20(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
Dilly Court writing as Lily Baxter lives in Dorset. She is the author of Poppy's War, We'll Meet Again, Spitfire Girls, and The Girls in Blue.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The story of two girls, one spoiled and spiteful, the other too kind for her own good and thus the story goes from there. There were parts where I couldn’t put it down and a few parts that were slow. There was good character development, but for my part not enough of Harry in the story. I kept wondering throughout the book how Ms. Court was going to untangle the mess and get them together. I enjoyed the book and would recommend reading.
Two girls, born within hours of one another and sent to different fates: the lowly born child is taken to be raised with the gentry, while the other is raised to a life of servitude. The two are familiar with one another from early on, yet never did they suspect the secrets behind their conception. Josie was raised in privilege and sadly, that makes for a very distasteful and spoiled character, it is to Court’s credit that she can make such a dislikable character work throughout the story, and not have readers turning away. Kate is everything that one would want in a daughter: kind, honest and above all, gentle in spirit. The contrast between the two girls, and Kate’s unflinching acceptance of Josie’s bad manners and biting remarks are often painful to read, but give Kate far more interest in the story than one would have expected from a servant. And while this book carries a strong feeling of the upstairs downstairs vibe: the distinctions between acceptable behavior and appropriate responses, as well as the very real limitations on changing one’s place in society are distinct and clearly presented from several angles, showing the author’s familiarity with the era. Of course both girls are of marriageable age, and there is a sweetly defined romance for them both, with men well suited to their personalities and positions in the societal hierarchy. The second book that I have read from Dilly Court, and it was enjoyable and enchanting from the start. Characters are well defined and presented; personalities are developed and displayed with action and dialog that feel realistic to both time and circumstance. An author that can create distasteful characters and still keep a reader engaged and interested in the next turn of the page is one to be savored and enjoyed. I received an eBook copy of the title via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Though I am not a big reader of British historical romance novels, there was something about Dilly Court's The Lady's Maid that grabbed my attention. Maybe it was that awesome author's name- Dilly Court; I mean, how can you resist that? Maybe it was the cover, which reminded me of all those paperback books you would see in the racks near the back of the pharmacy at your local drugstore. Whatever it was, I am so glad I read it. I was captivated from the very beginning, with two young woman, one a gyspy girl and one a lost lady ready to give birth to their babies in the woods, alone except for gypsy girl's mother. The gypsy girl was pregnant by the son of the lord of the manor where she worked; he didn't know or care and she was betrothed to another man who wouldn't marry her if he knew the truth. The lady's fiancee was a soldier, off to war where he would die in battle. Her family wanted to hide her pregnancy for reasons of propriety. The lady did not live after childbirth, and asked the gypsy woman to care for her baby and name her Katherine. The gypsy woman knew of a farmer whose wife had had several stillborn births and had just lost another. She delivered the baby to the farmer, telling him the baby's name and convincing him to tell his wife her own baby had lived this time. The gypsy girl's baby was delivered to the wealthy landowner's lady-in-waiting, who conspired with her lady to pass the baby, a girl called Josephine, off as her husband's heir, as she could not have children. Just as you would expect, all the chickens will come home to roost as secrets can't stay hidden forever. Kate worked as a maid in the castle where Josie was raised as royalty. They became best friends and although Josie could be spoiled, impulsive and temperamental, she did love Kate. Josie had a little bit of Scarlett O'Hara in her (she even shatters a glass against a wall as Scarlett did in a famous scene), and maybe that is why I liked her. It even takes place in the 1860's, as Gone With The Wind did. Kate lived with her father after her mother died, and Sam and Molly, two orphans who ended up on their doorstep and were taken in by her father. Sam, Kate and Josie grew up together, and as they grew older, Sam had feelings for Josie that she wanted to return, but knew that love between could never be. Josie had her eye on Harry, a handsome, wealthy merchant whom her father wanted her to marry. Once Harry met Kate however, he fell hard for her. Kate tried to hide her growing attraction to Harry, but Josie could see and became livid. The romantic entanglements with Josie, Harry, Kate, Sam added some more elements as a local reverend who took Kate and Josie in after a carriage accident and widower who wanted Kate to marry him and become a mother to his two bratty daughters become involved. The Lady's Maid delighted me, and Court takes a story that we are familiar with and adds her fresh spin on it. The many characters are well-drawn and interesting, from Kate and Josie down to the minor characters of Josie's elderly former nanny, and Boy, a young disabled cook whom Kate befriends. This is a book to get lost in, transported back to old England where you hope that in the end, true love and friendship prevail, and everyone gets what they truly deserve, good and bad.
A true page turner and a win for fans of drama/romance in a historical setting Two girls born on the same day and set to live very different lives. Josephine, the daughter of a passionate affair between a young Romany and a man of means, has been adopted out to her father's family. After years of trying to conceive, her adopted mother decides this is a fortuitous way to welcome a child into their home but no one can ever know that Josephine is not her own. Kate's mother only admitted that she had no one else to turn to before she died giving birth. A mother fallen out with her family and a father dead in battle has left little Kate alone in the world. Luckily another nearby family had longed for their own child as well. Josephine and Kate grow up alongside one another as friends, but as they become older things begin to change. I don't think I can really do the book justice with my synopsis but I think you get the gist. When I came to the book it was being promoted for fans of Downton. I'd agree and disagree. It's in no way similar to Downton really, beyond the fact that it's historical fiction, it's set in England, and it's a character driving drama. But for all those reasons it will definitely appeal to Downton fans. Throw in the fact that Dilly Court has created a story woven around a cast of very believable characters and that the book is a true page turner and you have a win for fans of drama/romance in a historical setting. (I hear The Best of Daughters, the other title on this tour is more Dowton-esque in a lot of ways.) As characters, Kate is definitely the one you root for. Josephine is moody and flightly. She's also spoiled and used to getting her way. For these reasons she's not exactly nice to Kate even though she does go to great lengths for her. It's an odd relationship but in truth it's no different than a lot of young friendships (minus the whole, I've got money and wealth and land and you're a servant thing). And while the reader knows all along that the girls' heritage will somehow come into play in the story, it's more than a little bit of the driving force in the tale so I won't reveal anything along those lines :)
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