As mentioned in my 2014 Reading Goals post, I'm trying to add more adult fiction into my diet. And, as I like to chronicle this stuff, here I am, chronicling it.
Right now, I'm (obviously) reading Jo Baker's Longbourn, which is Pride and Prejudice from the servants' perspective.
Feel free to read along! (If you end up posting about it, let me know in the comments and I'll link up.)
After Sarah dresses the girls for a ball, Jane and Elizabeth ask her about the dances on the village green, give her pick of their old dresses, and loan her a novel. Later, she tries to express her dissatisfaction with her life to Polly, but is told to "stop moaning" so that Mrs. Hill won't catch them loafing.
- Jane is described as being "as sweet, soothing and undemanding as a baked milk-pudding, and as welcome at the end of an exhausting day". Which would make her an ideal employer, I'd think, though maybe a somewhat boring friend. Then again, when compared to the rest of her family, boring might be occasionally preferable.
- Elizabeth also comes off quite well in this chapter, warm and bright and good-humored.
- Oh! And this line—"Lyddie would give anyone anything, just for the asking."—has me quite curious about how she'll be portrayed here. Because that certainly doesn't line up with how she's come across in the past.
- As Sarah gets a hand-me-down because the girls got new dresses, one can only assume that Mrs. Hill was successful in talking Mr. Bennet into buying them.
- It's less than a full paragraph long, but the description of the village dance is GREAT. I could see and hear it all.
- When the Bennet girls leave, it's like they take the light with them, and Sarah is left feeling like she's just a shadow. Which is pretty much this entire book (so far) in a nutshell: her very existence pretty much depends on them, and her life even parallels theirs... but whereas they're meant to be seen and admired, she's meant to stay invisible and hidden.
- And finally, a major facet of Sarah's discontent: she remembers being part of a family, before she was orphaned, before she was in service, and since she was happy once upon a time, she knows what she's missing.