Quite a while ago now, I was kindly sent The Servant by Maggie herself. I had no idea what the book was about but after hearing a bit more about it “servant joins household and finds the owners have a dark secret which turns her world upside down” really had me interested. nd I’m so glad I stuck with it.
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The Servant tells the story of young Hannah who has come from being a maidservant in a previous home with lovely owners but after they’ve moved away, she’s had to find work with another family. However, this family is the last family she would likely have ever wanted to work for. And when a life-changing event happens, everything gets far worse and her world is flipped upside down.
The Servant plot – 4.5/5
I was utterly gripped by The Servant; it’s not a book filled with fast-paced action but it is a book that’s written in such a way that you find yourself utterly ecnapulsated in the story of Hannah and those around her. There’s a lot of secrecy and mystery to the plot that keeps you wondering what else there is left to be discovered.
There did seem a point where I thought only negative things were going to keep happening and it became quite a depressing book to read. However, Richell-Davies did a fantastic job of immersing you in the world which made the story itself a lot more gripping too. It left me constantly wanting to know what’s was going to happen next.
There are highs and there are lows with the lows being the main focus of the book. Hannah our main character suffers a really difficult life from such an early age and Richell-Davies does a fantastic job of keeping the sad moments realistic enough that you don’t ever feel truly depressed by them but just feel for Hannah the character.
The Servant characters – 4.5/5
Speaking of Hannah and the characters in The Servant – they were absolutely fantastic. I was a huge fan of the way Richell-Davies wrote Hannah. She’s a strong young woman but also smart enough to know when to be strong and when to try and remain in the shadows for the sake of her job.
Hannah ends up becoming someone you really care for. She tries her hardest in such difficult times and when another addition is added to the story, the story that unfolds there is really powerful. There’s also a moment in the book that, because of the impact it has, affects the way that Hannah thinks and behaves completely which, if possibly older, might not have been such a stark and strong change. You’ll understand what I mean here more if you read it.
Additional to Hannah, there are some fantastic characters in the book that bring Hannah hope. This is a book that focuses on poverty in the 1700s and the poorest of the poor but also highlights how sometimes the poorest have the most to give because they truly know how good it feels to have something given to them.
The Servant final rating – 4.5/5
The Servant turned out to be one of my favourite novels of the year. At times it was incredibly sad to read but the suspense, mystery and desire from myself as a reader for Hannah to finally find kindness and good kept me flipping the pages every time I picked it up. Richell-Davies has written both a heartbreaking and heartwarming story at the same time with brilliant characters and a plot that keeps you on tender hooks throughout. A surprise hit for me here and a book I’d recommend to a lot of Historical Fiction or just fiction fans!