The Seniors Book Club will meet Wednesday, June 10th at 2 pm in the second floor Training Room. This month we’re discussing Longbourn by Jo Baker – an acclaimed British novel that re-imagines Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of the servants of the Bennet household.
The servants at Longbourn estate–only glancingly mentioned in Jane Austen’s classic–take centre stage in Jo Baker’s lively, cunning new novel. Here are the Bennets as we have never known them: seen through the eyes of those scrubbing the floors, cooking the meals, emptying the chamber pots. Our heroine is Sarah, an orphaned housemaid beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When the militia marches into town, a new footman arrives under mysterious circumstances, and Sarah finds herself the object of the attentions of an ambitious young former slave working at neighboring Netherfield Hall, the carefully choreographed world downstairs at Longbourn threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, up-ended. From the stern but soft-hearted housekeeper to the starry-eyed kitchen maid, these new characters come vividly to life in this already beloved world. Jo Baker shows us what Jane Austen wouldn’t in a captivating, wonderfully evocative, moving work of fiction.