Harwood, Michael. “The Manservant: A Novel”, Kensington, 2015.
Life Among the Wealthy
Did you ever really wonder what goes on in the modern British aristocracy? Here is a book that tells is what goes on “upstairs, downstairs, and occasionally, behind stairs…” and does so with biting wit. Anthony Gowers helps guests at a high-end London hotel with the kind of requests that are not the usual and which cannot be found on the menu for room service. that can’t be filled from a room service. In return he receives great tips and lots of cashmere. He has dealt with a tabloid scandal that cost his him his job. He soon became known as the best-dressed unemployed person in London.
Because he was so desperate for work, Anthony took a job as personal butler to Lord Shanderson. He had once been a footman so he understands the upper class and their odd ways but the place where he is, Castle Beadale, is filled with intrigue behinds its closed and stately doors conceals an abundance of intrigue behind its stately doors. On the outside, Lord Shanderson is a model English gentleman but he has a few personal interests that Anthony is sure the absent Lady Shanderson does not know about. When the lady returns, however, secrets will come out in the open and Anthony and Anthony will have to decide if the extras he got with this job are worth staying for or whether the time has come, once again, to move on. Some of those perks have to do with homosexuality and sadomasochism. I found it to be exceptionally well written and fun to read. This is the author’s first book and that also makes it kind of special. While it is not great literature, it is a relaxing way to enjoy a book.