'Frances Osborne will be in the vanguard of what is surely an emergent genre: books that appeal to Downton Abbey fans.' The Guardian (London)
'Frances Osborne's Park Lane, a gripping story about two young women, one a housemaid, on the youngest daughter of the house, captures brilliantly how the outbreak of war and the changing attitudes towards women affected social relationships.' The Bookseller
Top ten read of 2012: ‘A feisty novel about militant suffragettes.’ Easy Living
'Bea treads carefully on the thick carpet, quite deliberately like a servant. Her elder sister, Clemmie, tells her that it is ‘not done’ to worry about being heard but Bea enjoys this oh-so-silent rebellion against convention. She teases back, This is the twentieth century, Clem, things are about to change. ' Park Lane, June 2012.
London, 1914. Two young women dream of breaking free from tradition and obligation; they know that suffragettes are on the march and that war looms, but at 35 Park Lane, Lady Masters, head of a dying industrial dynasty, insists that life is about service and duty.
Below stairs, housemaid Grace Campbell is struggling.She cannot admit to her family in Carlisle and brother, Michael, in London that she has been unable to fulfill their ambitions and find a position as a secretary. Believing Grace to earn far more than she does, they are asking her to send home money she simply does not have.
Meanwhile, she finds herself caught up in the lives of the family she is waiting upon - in particular, those of her employer, Lady Masters', son, Edward, and daughter, Beatrice, who is recovering from a failed relationship that would have taken her away from an increasingly stifling life.
As Grace finds herself forced to compromise principles that she holds dear, Beatrice, desperate to find a new purpose, becomes increasingly drawn into the captivating Mrs Pankhurst's underground world of militant suffragettes, and begins to embrace the violence she has always rejected. Soon Bea is playing a dangerous game that will throw her in the path of a man her mother wouldn't let through the front door.
Then war comes, and the choices Grace and Beatrice make amid the rapidly changing world of WW1 will set their secret lives on a dramatic and inevitable collision course.