Editor’s note: For fans of the British period drama “Downton Abbey,” the fifth season can’t come too soon. In the meantime, this is one of a half a dozen books — both novels and nonfiction — that have crossed our desks that have an upstairs/downstairs drama, are set in a similar era or may be of interest to fans of the historical series.
"MANOR OF SECRETS," by Katherine Longshore, Point, $17.99, 325 pages (f) (ages 12 and up)
By all appearances, Lady Charlotte has everything a girl could want. But she thinks her wealthy suitor and fancy clothes are annoyances. Her secret desire to work as a writer astonishes her new friend, kitchen maid Janie.
Janie has known a life of hunger and hard work. When she realizes that Charlotte would rather spend time in the manor’s kitchen than enjoy her life of wealth, she is drawn to her friendship. As these two young women navigate the men and carefully hidden secrets in their lives, they come to depend on and love each other.
Author Katherine Longshore calls upon the popularity of “Downton Abbey” in this fun romp of a book. Well-written and an easy read, this novel can help stanch yearnings for those who live at Downton.
“Manor of Secrets” is a clean book with a few minor swear words. True to its Edwardian values, the romance does not go beyond kissing, and the violence consists of a punch to the eye.
Longshore lives in California with her husband and two children. She loves to travel and has journeyed around the world twice.
Elizabeth Reid has bachelor's degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. She blogs at gelatoandchocolate.blogspot.com.