Tag Archives: pride & prejudice

Longbourn by Jo Baker…..a review

Longbourn. The very name of the manor house of the Bennet family of Jane Austen fame will perk up the ears of any reader and avid fan of Pride & Prejudice. Yet there are so many offshoots of the Jane Austen novels that are not worthy of a true fan of hers. I found that Longbourn by Jo Baker is an excellent read. The story comes from the voice of Sarah, an orphan servant below stairs. As she comes of age, she tells the story from her viewpoint, longing for love and wishing a man would rescue her from this life.
When James Smith comes on the scene as a footman, it is obvious to Sarah that there is a secret to uncover; something to do with Longbourn. Secrets must be uncovered, she says to no one there.
Ptolemy, a freed man of Africa, who takes on his master’s name of Bingley enters the picture with big, wild, dreams of his own and he’d like Sarah to share them. Sarah longs for a life away from the drudgery and doesn’t mind going after what she desires.
Jo Baker does an exceptional job of writing. She keeps the language of the early 19th century, only revealing what the downstairs servants would have known or heard of what was going on upstairs, and describing what their lives would truly have been like. She also shows a different view of Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collins. Brava to you Ms. Baker.


Filed under book review, Uncategorized, women, writing

The Girls

Image(re-posted from 2007)

The term “The Girls” as I refer to them, came easily after birthing four sons, having two brothers, raised in a neighborhood full of boys and marrying three guys. One at a time, that is, with a little leeway in between.

So when these two adorable rescued kittens were first placed in front of me like gift boxes to choose from, I took both. Sisters, even with different fathers, shouldn’t be separated. Plus I travel often so they are company for each other when I’m gone. They don’t appreciate that I planned such consideration for them. They sense my plans days before I even take my travel bag out of the closet. Their upturned faces show me the saddest of eyes tugging at my inner softness. It makes me not want to go anywhere and I have always loved to go, anywhere.

That’s also when they begin adhering to my ankles, in front of, rubbing the sides of and tangling in between. Sometimes I’m nearly tripping just trying to stand up. It seems as though invisible glue keeps them in place. I step, they step, I sit, they sit, I breathe, they breathe.

They are Lady Jane and Mz Lizzie. The Bennet sisters from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Jane was upgraded to a titled ‘Lady’ because she is; just like Jane in the story. Her personality and being born minutes earlier gives her the older sister air. She’s also shy and reserved, but can romp (like a rabbit) beside Lizzie when encouraged. She’s a Manx. Black and white, no tail.

Lizzie follows Elizabeth’s personality. She’s daring, impish, funny and cuddly. I can sometimes see an idea forming by a light popping up in her eyes. She’s full of life and energy. She can talk the ears off an elephant. She’s a calico born with a bent two-inch tail.

They are blessings in my life.

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Filed under Cats