Monday, March 10, 2014

Miss Million's Maid  -  1915
Berta Ruck  (Mrs. Oliver Onions)
407 pages
genre  -  Romance
my rating  -  4 out of 5 stars

"My story begins with an incident that is bound to happen some time in any household that boasts - or perhaps deplores - a high-spirited girl of twenty-three in it."  Horror of horrors, Beatrice talks to the young man living next door!

An impoverished high-society elderly aunt, her 23-year-old niece Beatrice Lovelace and their maid Nellie live at No. 45 Laburnum Grove, Putney, S.W., London. The aunt refuses to allow Beatrice any association with the neighbors. "They are not our kind...And although we may have come down in the world, we are still Lovelaces, as we were in the old days when your dear grandfather had Lovelace Court. Even if we do seem to have dropped out of our world, we need not associate with any other.  Better no society than the wrong society."

The poor girl is pretty much a recluse.

Everything changes when the maid inherits a lot of money from an American uncle. Beatrice becomes the maid, and Nellie tries to find her way in Society.

What you think might happen definitely does not. What you think will become a turning point in the story is only a side plot.  This wonderful twisty tale kept me on my toes, always wondering what is important.

About the author  -

Amy Roberta Ruck was born on 2 August 1878 in Punjab, India, one of eight children by Eleanor D'Arcy and Colonel Arthur Ashley Ruck, a British army officer. The family moved to Wales where Ruck went to school in Bangor. She then studied at Lambeth School of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art (from 1901) and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris (1904-5).

In 1903 Ruck began a career as an illustrator for magazines such as The Idler and The Jabberwock. From 1905 she began to contribute short stories and serials to magazines such as Home Chat. One such serial was published as a full-length novel, His Official Fiancée (London, 1914), and its success marked the beginning of Ruck's career as a popular romantic novelist.

On 1909, she married the also novelist (George) Oliver Onions, and they had two sons. 

Widowed since 1961, she died in Aberdyfi, Wales on 11 August 1978, only nine days after her 100th birthday.

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