Gentle, amusing and well-written…
😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
As a daughter of a well-off family in the ‘30s, she had no need to work for money but, bored with a life revolving around social events and parties, Monica had taken some cookery courses and then discovered that her family’s own cook did not take kindly to her interfering in the kitchen. So she signed up with an employment agency and found herself, despite her inexperience and self-confessed inefficiency, in a series of jobs ranging from cooking and cleaning in the flat of a bachelor to being the cook in a large country house.
The book provides a below-stairs look at the life of the servant at that time. Working sometimes from 7 a.m. till 11 at night, with employers ranging from the kind and helpful to the downright rude and obnoxious, it certainly wasn’t a life of ease. However, Monica found compensations in the joy of having her own kitchen and in the fun of getting to know the other servants as well as the constant stream of tradesmen who in those days delivered supplies on an almost daily basis to the houses of the wealthy. Having a healthy curiosity, she also took interest in the on-goings of the ‘above-stairs’ families and provides us with humorous and, in the main, affectionate portraits of all these varied characters.
I first read this gentle, amusing and well-written book many years ago and am glad to see it re-published. Although it was written over 70 years ago, it’s still an enjoyable read – Miss Dickens’ wickedly observant eye and lack of deference has allowed it to age gracefully. Recommended.