Author: Julian Fellowes
Published in English: 2016
Dansk titel: Belgravia
Dansk Udgivelsesår: 2016
Finished Reading: March 2019
Genre: Historical & Historical Fiction
This is my personal review without spoilers of the actual plot.
FROM THE CREATOR OF DOWNTOWN ABBEY The New York Times bestselling novel about scandalous secrets and star-crossed lovers On the evening of 15 June 1815, the great and the good of British society have gathered in Brussels at what is to become one of the most tragic parties in history – the Duchess of Richmond’s ball. For this is the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, and many of the handsome young men attending the ball will find themselves, the very next day, on the battlefield.
For Sophia Trenchard, the young and beautiful daughter of Wellington’s chief supplier, this night will change everything. But it is only twenty-five years later, when the upwardly mobile Trenchards move into the fashionable new area of Belgravia, that the true repercussions of that moment will be felt. For in this new world, where the aristocracy rub shoulders with the emerging nouveau riche, there are those who would prefer the secrets of the past to remain buried…
The author behind Downton Abbey wrote Belgravia, which is a magnificent book that share some similarities with the series, Downton. The only thing that’s missing is the people of the downstairs staff in all homes. They play smaller roles, but pivotal to the plot nonetheless. What I liked more in the book though is the dynamics between nouveau riche couple and a proper aristocratic matriarch as they interact. There are many secrets in-between families and the book has multiple plot twists both expected and surprising.
Fellowes is a wonderful writer and dramatist, and I was truly baffled when I found out that Sophia wasn’t our main character but rather her mother. It pissed me off in the start but without anything more than a line-break of transition, he drops us right into the story – just after what will turn out to be a key event has taken place and our main character has changed. That was truly amazing! The only thing that disappointed me about this book besides that was the ending of the book. Style wise it may have been a choice to leave out so many rambling sentences. Some sections read as if the first draft of a screenplay, tightening the prose would’ve made this very enjoyable book a masterpiece.
Fellowes has a unique ability to create a scene and then drop hints all around to keep things moving along, and any mistakes I’ve pointed out in the review won’t distract most readers from enjoying this story. It’s very recommendable especially if you like, playful yet historically accurate stories and this was a great reminder why Downton Abbey has become so popular and endeared by many. Few authors could have successfully woven together so many different stories, plots, change in time and emotions into just one book at only 400 pages.