Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Lady's Maid by Susan Page Davis

3.5 out of 5 stars
Lady's Maid, Elise Finster, is finding her mistress, Lady Anne Stone, in an unfortunate predicament. Unless Lady Anne is able to locate her Uncle David to inform him that he is the new Earl of the Stoneford estate, the property will fall into the hands of the crown. The last time the Stone family heard from her uncle was ten years ago, when he resided in the Missouri territory in America. Determined to find her uncle, Lady Anne and Elise set out for America. Their journey continues to send them farther west . . until they finally join a wagon train heading to the Oregon territory. Will these two refined ladies be able to handle the harsh trail, or will the rest of the company's skepticism prove true. . .that these women are just too refined for the trail west?
     Scout Eb Bentley isn't in favor of bringing the two high-class women into his wagon company. Yet . . . as these women begin to prove their worth, he can't deny the attraction he feels towards tone of them. 

The Lady's Maid is impressive with its historical accuracy as it explores how refined women may have dealt with the harsh trail. As one who has studied the Oregon Trail, I found Susan Paige Davis's historical detail to be stunning.

This story is definitely enjoyable, but it does seem bogged down with too much historical detail that at times isn't used to the enhance the story. While each detail shows readers how difficult the Oregon Trail was for pioneers, it does little besides that. I feel like some of the details could have been used to create humor or raise the stakes, but they seemed to only remain stagnate.

While Elise seemed to be a very well developed character, Lady Anne was not so much developed. I believe part of this is because Elise is always speaking for Anne. I understand Elise is older than Anne, but I think it made Anne come across as slightly unintelligent. 

I'm certain it wasn't an easy character-development balance for the writer, since the initial plot centers around Lady Anne, yet we stay in Elise's point of view through-out the entire novel. I think a few scenes in Lady Anne's point of view could have easily balanced out this story so that it continued to remain focused on the starting plot and helped to develop Lady Anne's character, while also keeping us engaged with Elise as the main character.   

Though I don't believe any of these things made for an un-enjoyable story, I do feel like they hindered it from what it could have been. That said, I truly did enjoy this story, and definitely recommend The Lady's Maid

I'm excited to read the next book in this series, especially since it focuses on Lady Anne as the main character!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Barbour Publishers, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

The Trailer 
The Lady's Maid

About the Author

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than thirty published novels. She's a Carol Award Winner and a two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. In 2011, Susan was named Favorite Author of the Year in the 18th Annual Heartsong Awards. A Native of Maine, she and her husband, Jim, now live in western Kentucky. 



Available from Barbour Publishing in ebook and print formats


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