Nineteen year-old Max is the duchesse de Claireville’s second footman, but he does not intend to endure the indignities of service for long. He has a plan – to find an aristocratic patron who will become his unwitting accomplice in an audacious fraud.
It is true that in 1880s’ France, despite nearly a century of revolution and social turmoil, the aristocracy is still firmly entrenched in privilege, and the gulf between the salon and the servants’ hall is as wide as ever. But Max is handsome, quick to learn and confident of his abilities as a seducer of both men and women.
Whether ladling soup into noble plates beneath crystal chandeliers, or reading biographies of the great generals in his squalid footman’s dormitory, he is planning his strategy. He, Max, is the man of the future – ruthless, above morality and sentimental attachments.
Yet, when, after a couple of false starts, he at last acquires his patron, he finds himself ambushed by instinctive longings—for friendship, for affection—that threaten his grand plan.
‘Be true to yourself…’ the saying goes. But to which self? And what is ‘truth’?
The Second Footman is available now in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy of bothhere.
The Second Footman was a very intriguing, gripping piece of historical fiction that I really enjoyed.
I haven’t read many books from a servant’s point of view so it was very interesting to learn about their lives and what they have to do day in day out. This book follows a male servant too which I unusual as it’s normally female servants that are featured. I enjoyed reading about what their jobs entailed, how they lived and the secret parts of their job. I was especially I interested to learn more about their living conditions and the lack of privacy that they had to cope with. It’s amazing to think that such a high servant still had such trouble.
I really warmed to Jean, the second footman. He was obviously really hard working and consciousness which was lovely to read about. He’s also an avid reader and I loved that he had to read for two hours each night despite how late he goes to bed. His tentative friendship with the third footman was very sweet and it was great to see their friendship develop.
This was a surprising gripping read as there was always alot happening and a lot of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I felt invested in the characters quite quickly and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens to them. Especially Jean as i quickly developed a soft spot for him.
This is the first book by this author I have read and I look forward to reading more from from them.
Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour. If you like unusual historical fiction you’ll love this book!
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