Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Let's Talk About: Below Stairs by Margaret Powell

As it says on the cover this book is "The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir that inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey".
I can see how it did that. 
This memoir is written by Margaret Powell about her time in service.

She went into service in the 1920's at the age of 13. 
She started out as a kitchen maid and eventually worked her way up to being the main household cook (at a different house). She worked at many houses with many families along the way. Some were horrible and some were wonderful. Most fell somewhere in between where they didn't necessarily treat the servants horribly but didn't really treat them fairly.
It was very interesting to read about her experiences and how life was really like for these young girls going into service knowing that their job would basically be their life. They had to be so devoted to their homes and jobs because it took most of their time.

Margaret always wanted more and I really admired how she worked hard and made it happen for herself. 
I only gave it three stars on Goodreads and that was only because of writing style. 
While I enjoyed reading the memoir, I felt like I was reading a diary that had been written while she was still a teenager. The voice and the way it was told felt so young. 
As a result of that it didn't always hold my interest and I did have to make myself sit down to read it (even though I found it interesting) as opposed to some memoirs where you can't tear yourself away. 

I think that if you are a fan of either television show mentioned that you will enjoy it. 

*Have you read this yet?


The Kings said...

I have not read it. Not sure I am going too.

cheryl said...

Yeah. If you ever need something to read you could pick it up and probably enjoy it. But I did take the other one she wrote back to the library without reading it because I just have too many other things to read right now. Maybe someday.