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Isobel's Story: 1939 (Swallowcliffe Hall) Paperback – August 19, 2013
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About the Author
Jennie Walters has had over twenty books published for children and teens, including the popular Party Girls series. She was partly inspired to write the ‘Swallowcliffe Hall’ stories by visits to beautiful old English country houses, including Kingston Lacey in Dorset, Belton House in Lincolnshire and Castle Howard in Yorkshire. When younger, she spent two years in a cliff-top boarding school converted from a Victorian mansion with wood-panelled rooms, a huge marble staircase and one of the largest collections of stuffed birds in England. Finding a silver housekeeper’s châtelaine while clearing out her father-in-law’s flat whetted her interest in Victorian servants and their masters and mistresses, and prompted her to create a fictional country house of her own. Jennie lives in London with her husband and a dog, and has two grown-up sons. For a fascinating insight into the world of English country houses and the families and servants who live in them, visit Jennie’s website, packed with original photographs, historical information, extracts from servants’ letters, and much more! www.jenniewalters.com
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This book was just as entertaining as the previous two, but with a little more reality to it. Andreas, a young man who has escaped Germany alone, without his mother, tells Izzie about the horrible treatment the Jews are receiving by Hitler and his men. It's such a sad story, and it took me a little longer to get through this book because of it. I make it a point to avoid books about the Holocaust and the horrific treatment of the Jews because it's so unbelievably horrible. I was initially turned off by this, but Ms. Walters tells it in a way that gets the point across without bringing down the whole story.
In the months Isobel spends a Swallowcliffe she (like her Mother and Grandmother before her) does a lot of growing up and becomes a better person because of her experience there. We also see that just because you're a member of the peerage with a title and a large estate, doesn't mean you're happy. Personally, between the titled family, or the servants 'below stairs', I'd take being a servant any day. Great series, and I highly recommend it. So glad I accidentally stumbled upon it!