You know, I don’t really know what I was expecting from Zombie Abbey, but it went in an entirely different direction than I predicted! I fell in love with the premise and the ways Baratz-Logsted introduces some themes about social class.
And the three teenage Clarke sisters thought what they’d wear to dinner was their biggest problem…
Lady Kate, the entitled eldest.
Lady Grace, lost in the middle and wishing she were braver.
Lady Lizzy, so endlessly sunny, it’s easy to underestimate her.
Then there’s Will Harvey, the proud, to-die-for—and possibly die with!—stable boy; Daniel Murray, the resourceful second footman with a secret; Raymond Allen, the unfortunate-looking young duke; and Fanny Rogers, the unsinkable kitchen maid. Upstairs! Downstairs! Toss in some farmers and villagers! None of them ever expected to work together for any reason.
But none of them had ever seen anything like this
So Zombie Abbey is like Downton Abbey meets the Walking Dead. I say this having read none of those. (I’m so helpful). Anyway, while I adored the premise, I wished this had just given me a little more. Let me explain.
I didn’t really connect with any of our main characters – except Fanny and Lizzie. I knew I would because they are the fiercest and most headstrong. We are kindred spirits. But I had a hard time really understanding the rest of the characters. Now, this may entirely be because I sometimes just really click with these type of period pieces (especially when we talk about women’s roles). But on a different note, I just didn’t really feel like the rest of the sisters – Grace and Kate – had much going on for them for a while. Not to mention, I would have liked a bit more time with each of these different perspectives.
And the thing is, I’m still in love with the premise because it introduces this conflict of our prejudices in the face of survival. I am a huge fan of what this book is trying to do. The ‘upstairs’ really has to come to terms with their feelings regarding themselves and the ‘downstairs’ including their neighbors. In this crisis, they are almost useless, and a few of them still stand on principal and tradition. Hello, there are literally walking dead outside your doorstep people! But Baratz-Logsted puts this entirely unlikely alliances through the wringer and has them reconsidering things they believed about their social stratification.
So while I loved the premise, and even a few characters, I felt that I was just missing something, Furthermore, I actually feel like if there was a sequel, I would enjoy that even more, because the characters seemed to be on the precipice of growth at the end of this book and I just wanted to nudge them a little more.
Make sure you check out Zombie Abbey on Goodreads.