Longbourn by Jo Baker
Here comes a big confession from a bookworm who has worked in the book trade for fifteen years - I've never read (or watched and adaptation of) Pride and Prejudice.
I feel better for saying that out loud.
However while we were away I did read and thoroughly enjoy Baker's retelling of the story from the servants point of view - if the Bennett sisters think that they have a hard life that is nothing at all compared to the 4 people who keep the house running.
Having not read the source book I can't comment on how accurate to the story it is, or how well this book sits with it but as a stand alone book I found it compelling*. There were enough little twists in a fairly predictable plot that made the story a great escapist read. The servants came alive in the writing and Baker painted some wonderful images for me, while I was reading the book I did feel I had travelled in time.
Who knows I may now read the original...and that is something that even Colin Firth in a wet shirt hadn't inspired me to do!
the copy of Longbourn that I read was an electronic proof from Net Galley
*I've just read a long awaited final book in a series and was very disappointed in it - mainly because you had to have (recently) read the other books in the series to understand any of the plot. Prequels and sequels are all very well but they have to work as stand alone books for new readers.