The Servants' Quarters

The Servants' Quarters

3.08 (386 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"The Servants' Quarters, "a complex and sophisticated love story, evokes a vanishing world of privilege with a Pygmalion twist. Haunted by phantoms of the Second World War and the Holocaust, young Cressida lives in terror of George Harding, who, severely disfigured, has returned from the front to recover in his family's stately African home. When he plucks young Cressida's beautiful mother and her family from financial ruin, establishing them in the old servants' quarters of his estate, Cressida is swept into a future inexorably bound to his. In the new setting, she finds that she is, after all, indentured. She is conscripted to enliven George Harding's nephew, the hopelessly timid Edgar, to make him "wild and daring." And she takes on this task with resentful fury, leading the boy astray and, in the process, learning to manipulate differences in power, class, background, and ambition. Only slowly does she come to understand that George Harding himself is watching her. And waiting.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 144.78 x 213.36 x 25.4mm | 317.51g
  • HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 0151012881
  • 9780151012886
  • 2,089,369

Review quote

""The Servant's Quarters"is Lynn Freed's best novel yet. Cressida, a young girl who watches those around her patch up their wounds from the war and carry on with the weight of pretense, is as observant and as wickedly truthful as any Jane Austen character." --Amy Tan"Freed is a beautiful writer, dead-on brilliant, rich in humor, possessing a dark and comforting wisdom." -- Anne Lamott
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Back cover copy

"Freed blends Dickensian musings on class with a Bronte-like love story, set against the backdrop of South Africa after the Holocaust." --"San Francisco Chronicle" """A story of civilization and savagery, brisk as a strong cup of tea." --"O Magazine""" ""The Servant's Quarters" is Lynn Freed's best novel yet. Cressida, a young girl who watches those around her patch up their wounds from the war and carry on with the weight of pretense, is as observant and as wickedly truthful as any Jane Austen character." --Amy Tan
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Flap copy

THE SERVANTS' QUARTERS, a complex and sophisticated love story, evokes a vanishing world of privilege with a Pygmalion twist.
Haunted by phantoms of the Second World War and the Holocaust, young Cressida lives in terror of George Harding, who, severely disfigured, has returned from the front to recover in his family's stately African home. When he plucks young Cressida's beautiful mother and her family from financial ruin, establishing them in the old servants' quarter of his estate, Cressida is swept into a future inexorably bound to his.
In the new setting, she finds that she is, after all, indentured. She is conscripted to enliven George Harding's nephew, the hopelessly timid Edgar, to make him "wild and daring." And she takes on this task with resentful fury, leading the boy astray, and, in the process, learning to manipulate differences in power, class, background and ambition.
Only slowly does she come to understand that George Harding himself is watching her. And waiting.
show more

Rating details

386 ratings
3.08 out of 5 stars
5 6% (25)
4 29% (112)
3 38% (145)
2 20% (78)
1 7% (26)
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