It begins by documenting their leap from the comfort and security of their New Zealand home into the bizarre world of domestic service in London. They secured a live-in position, he as the cook and she as the lady’s maid, and the engaging narrative describes their duties and how they did their best to provide their eccentric employers with the quality of old-fashioned service and dining to which they were accustomed. In the process they met an odd assortment of people, somehow connected to the running of the house, whose lives were governed by the unwritten rules of the English class system.
It was, as the author says, a sad and somewhat surreal and shabby end of an era, unmarked by history; a metaphor for the demise of what was once the capital of the world’s most powerful empire.
And yet it’s such a charming little story.