Saturday, August 6, 2016
Maid to Match
The setting of this book is the Biltmore estate, in North Carolina. It is a real place, and is open to the public.
The story focuses on the servants, especially a young woman trying to achieve lady's maid - the second highest position for a woman - and a young man, saving to get his sister out of the orphanage. It is mostly a romance novel, but the setting is interesting because I know someone who recently visited the estate.
Tillie Reese has worked her entire life to become a lady's maid. The day has finally come that Mrs. Vanderbilt's French lady's maid has decided to return to her homeland, and Tillie and Lucy have been selected for consideration.
Each girl is given a lady to wait upon during an extended ball, to see which would better suit the job. Lucy wants it badly enough to sabotage Tillie, who is assigned to an incredibly high-strung lady. As Tillie rushes about to heed her every silly demand, she wonders if she really wants such a job after all.
Mack Danver was born and raised in the mountains, and hates the city. His parents have died, leaving his three younger brothers living with other families, and his sister in an orphanage. Mack is a twin; his brother Earl is a footman to the Vanderbilts.
When Mrs. Vanderbilt finds out that Earl has a twin, she immediately offers Mack a job. Twin footmen are rarely heard of. Especially ones so good-looking. Mack refuses, despising the idea of being at someone's beck and call. But when his sister's life at the orphanage gets worse, he needs to get her out fast.
Their jobs cause Mack and Tillie to work together frequently, and they begin to fall for each other, much to Tillie's dismay. Lady's maids are not permitted to marry. Can she give up the job she has wanted her whole life?
It was an interesting book, and as close to a real story as fiction can be.