Delving back to the 1800’s, Julian Fellowes has created a novel filled with secrets and intrigue that brings to mind Downton Abbey…
The story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London’s grandest postcode. Set in the 1840s when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond’s now legendary ball, one family’s life will change for ever…
Julian Fellowes is the master of taking audiences and readers back in time to tell stories of upper class families and with Belgravia he has once again created a story that slowly burns to if not a thrilling climax at least one that keeps you absorbed to the very last page.
Belgravia tells the story of James and Anne Trenchard, who would do anything to keep their daughter’s reputation free of scandal, but this becomes increasingly difficult and leads to a situation that means a deeply held secret is on the verge of being uncovered.
While at first it takes a few pages to really immerse yourself into the story, due to the awkward and somewhat pompous opening paragraph that doesn’t really help set the scene, Fellowes has created a variety of characters with many different layers to them that equally makes you sympathise and dislike their motivations. Everyone is looking to protect themselves.
There is also a feeling through the writing that this would make a strong television series – almost as though the author has been thinking ahead for the story’s future. Reading it all the way through, the vividness of the descriptions and the characters you can really understand how well as a story this would work as a television drama.
Throughout the novel, Fellowes chooses to concentrate more on how the secret is going to be unveiled (as there is no doubting from early on that it is going to be uncovered), offering plenty of twists and turns along the way.
Perhaps some of these twists become a little more obvious towards the end and everything is perhaps resolved slightly too neatly, but the journey on which Fellowes takes the reader on to get there is interesting and engaging enough to capture the reader’s imagination.
If you have been missing Downton Abbey, there is no question that this is the book for you. But equally, if you love stories of intrigue and secrecy then you might also enjoy this novel.
Belgravia is available to buy now through Amazon.