7/29/2013

Book Review: Below Stairs

Below Stairs is a memoir about a woman who was in domestic service in the early 1900's. Apparently, both Downton Abbey (love!) and Upstairs, Downstairs were partly based on this book. Part of the reason I like Downton Abbey so much is I get a peek in to the way high society families lived in those days.

That's why I loved this book. It's a first hand look at how the servants lived. Honestly, I thought the book could've been a little longer. I felt like she just sort of skimmed the surface in explaining her experiences.

Powell started in domestic service when she was about 13 because her parents could no longer support her. She started in the lowest position--a kitchen maid. Eventually, she went on to become head cook. But her goal was to always get married and leave domestic service.

The writing isn't stellar although it was laugh-out-loud funny in some parts. It's an easy read and didn't take me long to finish it--I couldn't put it down.

I'd recommend this book. It's a light read that holds your attention. I'm looking for more like this to add to my library hold list--it's definitely whetted my appetite for domestic service stories!

Do you have any book recommendations? I'm always on the look out for more!

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