Wednesday, 6 December 2017

#BlogTour A Pearl for my Mistress by Annabel Fielding

Today it is my pleasure to be part of the Blog-Tour for A Pearl for my Mistress by Annabel Fielding. It is step into a world where women have started to blossom and walk new paths. They are discovering their sexuality, breaching the walls of social boundaries and creating possibilities for future generations.
About the Author
Annabel Fielding is a novelist, a history geek and an international woman of mystery. She has long since pledged her allegiance to travel, tea and books. When he isn't busy writing historical fiction she can be found on her blog historygeekintown.com. There, you will find travel posts, lesser-known facts, some photography and (mostly) historical fiction-related book reviews.
Follow @DearestAnnabel @HQDigitalUK
Visit historygeekintown.com
Buy A Pearl for my Mistress
About the book
A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downtown Abbey.

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady's maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…
Review
In a way Lucy and Hester are separated by worlds, and yet the common denominator between the two is their gender, which makes them equal in the basest of ways. Regardless of the difference in status, and believe you me the divide between upstairs and downstairs is a huge one, the two of them start to connect on a personal level.

At first there is the common love of books, reading and expanding their knowledge. Lucy crosses boundaries that have to be kept between the two of them, because the rest of society wouldn't understand their relationship. When the two of them connect on an emotional and physical level it becomes a destructive secret.

Fielding incorporates quite a few hot topics in this story, and for me this wasn't a love story per se, perhaps because it doesn't evolve beyond the physical element. In fact I would go as far as to say that it is more about shedding a light on how women who love women were treated in that particular era. Locked away, disowned, treated like the mentally ill and put in asylums for the insane.

At the same time there is a focus on the gender inequality, which was an issue for women on every rung of the social ladder. Women and girls of a higher status were treated like birds in gilded cages with no voice or power. Any move towards independence was ridiculed and dismissed. Girls over 21 didn't receive the vote until 1928, so the 1930s was still an era of advancement and discovery.

Although Lucy is part of this new-found age for women she still has to maintain the facade of the quiet well-behaved daughter of the household, whilst making her own choices in private. Of course while society is busy infantilizing their daughters and wives, they are also guilty of creating vulnerable women who crave new input, which in turn makes them the perfect target. In this case Lucy is more susceptible to the theories and voices of the far-right. She is drawn in by the shiny glow of the pseudo intellectual arguments and the belief that she is doing what is right for herself and her country.

Her involvement with Hester is a direct contradiction to her interest in Mosley. Hester's possible heritage and exotic appearance would make her a non-entity in the eyes of the Blackshirts. It's as if Lucy chooses to be oblivious to certain opinions the Mosley brigade shout out to the world. In the midst of her anger at her family and her lack of trust, she starts to become what she hates the most.

Fielding combines historical fiction with important social issues of the 20th century. It isn't a love story, it is a story about identity and about discovering the power we yield.

Buy A Pearl for my Mistress at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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