Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants by Alison Maloney (2011)

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian ServantsLife Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants by Alison Maloney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A colleague once referred to a book as "report fodder" - the type of disposal book that elementary-aged students use to write reports about presidents, or animals, or countries. They are almost always library books, written methodically and in a similar manner, easy to digest, baled together like straw in great sets ("mammals" or "California missions").

This book is report fodder, for adults. Probably, particularly, for three types of adults: 1. Adults like me who like reading fiction and nonfiction about Victorian and Edwardian England; 2. A similar group of folks who religiously watched Downton Abbey (I fell into this camp for two series); 3. Writers who are writing a book about Victorian and Edwardian England.

It's not poorly written. It's not well written. It's just written. With lots and lots of quotes from other, probably better, books.

These types of books are sort of like the "pink slime" that chicken nuggets are made out of. Essentially, this is a chicken nugget. It looks like a book, and it tastes like a book, but it's not really a book.

Or, as a friend called it on Goodreads: "kind of a pseudo-book."

Yep.

Exactly.

So did I read it? Yes. Did I enjoy it? When you eat chicken nuggets, you always enjoy them. I didn't throw it across the room in disgust (it was on my Ipad, so I wasn't going to do that anyway). Would I recommend it? To anyone that falls in those three groups.

But if I'm being completely honest, at least star-wise, it's a solid 2-star book.


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