Longbourn Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Longbourn

As a Jane Austen spin off set from a servant's point of view, Longbourn attempts to tell the story of Pride and Prejudice from a completely new angle.
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Sarah, a housemaid at the Bennet family home, works her fingers to the bone every day attending to the whims of Elizabeth, Jane, and their three sisters. She's not afraid of hard work - it's all she's ever really known - but secretly she longs for love and adventure.

While the main plot of the well known Austen novel takes place in the background, the reader follows Sarah and her companions below stairs: the cook and housekeeper, Mrs. Hill; Mr. Hill; Poly, the second maid; and James, the mysterious newcomer and odd job man recently hired by Mr. Bennet.

Throughout the book, Sarah grows increasingly interested in James' past, and seeks to discover more about him. She is convinced that he's a baden, and must learn the truth in order to protect her fellow servants, and to save the reputation of the household. However, as time goes on, and the more she learns, Sarah begins to develop feelings for the mysterious ex-soldier.

At first, Sarah denies her attraction to James, and focuses her interest rather on a freed African, Ptolemy, who is a servant of Mr. Bingley's.

Secrets about James' past keep her from admitting her feelings, but when he disappears in the night without an explanation, she knows at last that she cares for him.

For some time, after Elizabeth's marriage, Sarah lives at Pemberley as a servant in the Darcy household. Just when Elizabeth announces that she is expecting her first baby, Sarah decides to leave her position in order to search for James and her own happy ending.
Best part of story, including ending: I disliked the style because it in no way resembled Austen, and I also didn't find any of the characters to be particularly likeable.

Best scene in story: I liked the part where Jane gives an old dress to Sarah because it showed a new side to her kindness that is ever present in the original story.

Opinion about the main character: She's overly suspicious, and she seems to think too much instead of speaking to people.

The review of this Book prepared by Megan Cullen a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Longbourn

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Life of a profession:    -   maid Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Lover is    -   a criminal (possibly)

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   servant Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British Unusual characteristics:    -   Extremely cynical or arrogant


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Longbourn

Jo Baker Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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