Bookmark’s book of the week

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

The Spalding store has chosen The Housekeeper’s Tale, by Tessa Boase.

The Housekeeper’s Tale will keep you mesmerised as Tessa Boase brings to life the heroic women who ran Britain’s country houses.

As a working-class woman in the 19th century, you could do no better.

The housekeeper of a great English country house might manage 100 servants and a domestic budget on a par with a small bank.

She had no need of a home of her own – or, for that matter, a husband.

But, for all her importance, she has been invisible to history.

This unique collection tracks the housekeeper’s fortunes during a period of relentless social change.

She enters the book haughtily, in black bombazine and whalebone stays; she exits a lone figure in a nylon housecoat, down on arthritic knees with a scrubbing brush.

None of these women, mulling over the day in their parlours, would have imagined their stories worth telling, but The Housekeeper’s Tale proves otherwise with its five gripping accounts.

The boom retails at £8.99 but there is a 20 per cent discount with the voucher in the Spalding Guardian of April 2.