An Appetite for Violets
By Martine Bailey
Welcome. I hope that your Sunday is going well. The sun is shining here!!! Yes folks the sun is out!!! It also is not freezing out which is also a plus. I hope you are sitting back in your chair with a cup of coffee or tea and relaxing and enjoying yourself. I am taking a break after doing my one hour of yoga. Yes I am making a big deal out of it. I hate exercise so for me this is a big deal. LOL. I also went and picked up some food for the food drive we are having at work. So things are going well here.
This debut novel of Martine Bailey is a slam dunk! (Yes the hubby is caught up in March Madness.) I can’t believe that this is her first book!! This was released in January of 2015 by St. Martin’s Press. I love the cover. I was attracted to it at the library based on the cover alone. I went to the doctor’s office on Monday and even my doctor asked what I was reading! It is 387 pages long and it is a hardback.
I absolutely loved this book. The novel starts in 18th century England. Obedience (Biddy) is a young servant girl who is employed at Mawton Hall. When the newly married lady of the manor turns up she encourages Biddy to travel with her to France and later England. This book takes us along with Biddy as she travels and meets with new experiences. Biddy’s relationship with her mistress is an unusual one to say the least and Biddy begins to suspect that her mistress is pregnant. In France her mistress admits that she is pregnant, but the baby is not her husband’s. Biddy becomes entangled in her mistress’s plot to run off with her husband’s money. Biddy impersonates her mistress and things get complicated as she becomes the object of two men’s affections. What will happen to Biddy? What will happen to her mistress? What are they going to do with the baby?
This book was a real page turner. I was not just eager to see what would happen next, but I also couldn’t wait to read each of Biddy’s new recipes at the beginning of each chapter. The 18th century recipes were fun to read and interesting. The book is masterfully written and very well thought out. The story and the characters are well-developed and believable. There is even a little love affair and romance in the end. You have the wealth and high society and then the aspects of the servant life and problems when one tries to cross over the boundaries of social class. Biddy is a smart and talented entrepreneur and she finds success and happiness in the end of the book. She remains a good-hearted and kind person with good virtues.
If this is Martine’s first book, I can’t wait to see what she can come up with next!! This is an exceptional debut book!! I think that it has widespread appeal. The story line is good and realistic. The recipes weren’t just an after thought, they were an intricate part of the story. This is probably the best book that I have read so far this year!! I would look for this to win awards!! I give this book a strong 5 out of 5 stars.