'England, 1903. Lord Robert and Lady Isobel Dilberne, as well as their entire regal estate, with its hundred rooms, are busy planning for a lavish visit from King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra just a few months away. Preparations are elaborate and exhaustive: the menus and fashions must be just so, and so must young James, the new heir and son of Arthur Dilberne and Chicago Minnie O'Brien.
But there are problems. Little James is being reared to Lady Isobel's tastes, not Minnie's. And Mrs. O'Brien, untrained in the particular ways of the English aristocracy, is visiting from America and causing trouble. Meanwhile, the Dilbernes' niece, Adela, is stirring up hysteria in the servants' hall by claiming the house is cursed. The royal visit is imperiled, but so are the Dilberne finances once more. His Lordship is under tremendous stress, and the pecking order will soon be upset as everything at Dilberne Court changes.
The New Countess is the final novel in Fay Weldon's outstanding trilogy that began with Habits of the House and Long Live the King. As the bestselling novelist and award-winning writer for the pilot episode of the original Upstairs, Downstairs, Weldon magnificently lifts the curtain on early twentieth-century British society, upstairs and downstairs, under one stately roof.'
Whoever wrote the blurb on the cover of this book, should be fired immediately. Nothing in this blurb that I posted above is even accurate or pertains to the actual story. First off, it's 1905, not 1903. There is no son of Minnie and Arthur named James. The boy's names are Edgar and Connor. Also, the niece Adela doesn't even show up in this novel and there is not one mention of her and a ghost and the house being cursed. I would simply be embarrassed if this was my book and someone from the publisher or wherever these blurbs come from, wrote that on my book. They could at least get it right. Stupid and minor mistakes really put me off this book.
Most of my problem with this book was the inaccurate blurb. The story was okay and the writing wasn't bad. I was just too appalled by the gross lack of accuracy that I simply couldn't even see past that. You would think that the author would at least have to approve it and even if she did, she should have caught the mistakes. Anyways, onto the story. The characters are shallow and quite annoying in this book. It's the same old story, the same old boring plot and nothing really substantial occurs. Everything is predictable and quite lackluster. I was really disappointed with this one. I finished reading it simply because I had read the other books in this series and couldn't put it to rest without finding out the conclusion.
I would have to say the first book in this series was really the shining star. The other two, not anywhere on par with the first one. I would have recommended this series to Downton Abbey fans who are missing the show, but I really don't even think it's a series worth reading when it comes down to it. I read it wanting something so much more from the series and got nothing but a huge disappointment. Skip this series and read some other Downton Abbey-like book that will at least pass the time until the show is back on the air.
Overall Rating: 1
Title: The New Countess
Author: Fay Weldon
Series: Love & Inheritance #3
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Get It: Amazon; Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.