Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)
Belgravia is a serial novel by Julian Fellowes, the writer and creator of Downton Abbey. I was not sure how Mr. Fellowes has time to write novels on top of his work with the Downton juggernaut, as well as other theater and TV writing, but after reading Belgravia I have my suspicions.
He has a big decorative Ming vase in his office, and he has filled it with slips of paper with plot elements written on them. There are characters: “Inept social climber,” “plotting countess,” “headstrong daughter of a wealthy family,” “scheming servant.” There are events: “Meet-cute on a chilly balcony,” “neglected wife begins love affair,” “upstanding youth framed as a libertine,” “failed murder attempt.” And there are twists: “Long-lost servant returns with a bunch of old letters,” “unintended pregnancy brings husband and wife back together,” “nice average guy turns out to be the heir to a great title.”
Then old Julian just reaches his chubby paw into the vase, grabs a handful of papers, and arranges them on his desk. Voila–another bone to throw to the ravening pack of Downton-aholics. So no, Belgravia isn’t great. But it has all of those upstairs/downstairs soap-opera-in-a-corset elements that we have come to expect from a Julian Fellowes production. And if you are like me, you need a Fellowes fix now and then.
Available through BRIDGES Library System