Monday, March 28, 2011

Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist

My husband is an architect and has always been fascinated with Biltmore, the "castle" built by the Vanderbilt family in North Carolina in the late 1800s.  We hope to travel there one day and tour the massive home and grounds which are open to the public and contain the original furnishings from the period.

So when I saw this book at the library and read the back cover and learned that it was set at Biltmore, I knew I had to read it!  And I am so glad I did. The story is delightful, the characters are rich and full and the details create a crystal clear photograph in the reader's mind. 

Tillie Reese has been reared as a servant along side her parents and siblings. It is her mother's dream and hers that she one day become a Lady's maid to the mistress of the house and now it appears her time has come. Mrs. Vanderbilt's maid is leaving and she is auditioning for a replacement. Tillie is in the running with one other young woman.  Her confidence soars as she gains the attention and admiration of the Housekeeper and Mrs. Vanderbilt. 

But the he appears.. Mack Danvers.  Desperate for money to rescue his younger sister from the local orphanage, Mack leaves his beloved mountains and the freedom he has there to work as a Useful man at Biltmore.  He determines that it will be a temporary position, just until he has enough money to save Ora Lee from the orphanage and its abusive director. 

What Mack and Tillie neither expect is to find love at this time in their lives or at this place.  To be a Lady's maid, one must be single and remain single. No relationship with a man at all is allowed.  If Tillie follows her heart, she will forfeit her dream. And Mack is faced with enjoying the freedom of his mountain home or providing shelter for orphans. 

Both must learn to seek the Lord in all things as they look for the true desires of their hearts.

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