Hi all! Today I’m going to introduce a lovely set of historical books written by a young author (all you blogger writers – this is for you!) I love to occasionally read about young protagonists like precocious 8-year-old Alice. I’ll have a review in the future but I wanted to tell you a little about one of the characters from this world…
Drumroll please… my character is… Nettie Atwater from The Dressmaker’s Secret! What a role she plays in this book! This interview will shed some light on her essential character in this series…
Annette “Nettie” Atwater
Date of Birth: February 1844
As a young lady, Nettie spent hours imitating Miss Chattoway’s cultured accent until she completely lost her Yorkshire speech.
Nettie grew up in Yorkshire, England, at Mr. Chattoway’s estate, Starboard Hall. Her mother is the cook at Starboard Hall while her father was a groom. She was very close to both of them growing up, especially her mother. At a young age, she earned the respect and admiration of Mr. Chattoway’s daughter, Claire Chattoway, and they became close friends. She studied her lessons along with the rich young lady, garnering more knowledge than your average servant would. At fourteen, she became Miss Chattoway’s maid and accompanied her to finishing school. She followed Miss Chattoway everywhere, no matter how risky the path may have seemed.
Nettie is an INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving). She’s deeply compassionate and caring. Although she can be logical and dogmatic, she prefers to let her emotions be her guide. Nettie’s biggest motivation in life is her faith in God, whom she’s relied heavily in all her life. She can be overly altruistic, giving up her own modest desires to help her dear friend and employer, Miss Chattoway. Nettie has a strong protective instinct and tends to mother-hen those she cares about, who are many. Her admiration is not easily lost, but once it is, it is almost impossible to regain. She sometimes struggles to remain practical, but she can push aside her idealism and emotions if the situation calls for it.
Nettie has soft gray eyes and curly light brown hair. She keeps her curls held back in a tight bun, but even his can’t tame the wild ringlets. For the most part, she’s not extremely notable, especially in the simple dark dresses she normally wears. (The picture above is missing those wild curls…)
Nettie’s job in The Dressmaker’s Secret is a bit hard to describe. She started out as Miss Chattoway’s personal maid when she was in her early teens. Before that, she served as a kitchen maid, doing odd jobs for her mother. When Miss Chattoway had twin daughters and ran off to London to raise them away from the destructive influence of her father, Nettie accompanied her and watched over the babies, Alice and Ivy, as they couldn’t afford to hire a nursery maid. Since then, Nettie has slowly become more involved in Alice and Ivy’s life as full-time caretaker and governess.
Nettie, when did you know you would follow Miss Chattoway anywhere?
I’ve known Claire almost all my life. Loyalty is something that develops over time, and pinpointing an exact moment would be difficult. I think I knew she needed me to follow her anywhere when we returned from our … excursion to Paris, shall we say.
What are your thoughts on Miss Chattoway marrying?
I don’t know how to say this kindly, but she has yet to master the fine art of patience. I always thought I was the emotional one, more like to do something idiotic for love, but she is continually giving up everything for an object she might have later for free. She deserved better – still does, always will.
What’s the worst experience you’ve had with Alice? The best?
I can think of so many … it’s almost impossible to just name one of each! Alice is a creative little girl, and she gets into more trouble and does more adorable things than I could possibly list.
However, one of the worst experiences was the time when she, a most ingenious five-year-old, decided that all of her clothes should be spread about on the floor and furniture. I swear I only left her alone for fifteen minutes – I was giving Ivy a bath if I remember correctly – and I returned to find a sofa strewn with stockings and the parlor layered with petticoats. She even decided to condemn her least favorite articles of clothing to the hearth, where they became so soot-smudged as to be irredeemable.
Perhaps I was a little stern – she didn’t even seem to realize that she’d done something wrong until I became angry – but I was upset. And, long story short, I lost my head and told Claire she’d have to find someone else to take care of her little demon; I couldn’t do it. That’s the only time I’ve ever said (or even felt) anything like that though Alice has done worse things than that. I suppose I was close to my twenty-third birthday and feeling like I was losing my youth or something like that. I recovered quickly from the brief bout of selfishness.
The best experience … it’s even harder to pinpoint one of those than a worst experience. I think anytime when Alice is openly affectionate with me is a ‘best’ moment because they are so rare. She’s never hesitant to hug or kiss a person – especially her mother – but showing affection in any other ways – say, through words – isn’t something she excels at.
Nettie, what would make living in the Chattoway household even more perfect than it is now?
Although Alice and I have our differences, we feel the same on one issue: when Miss Chattoway is content, we will be, too. I have my own dreams, but I would much rather she have her happy ending than I have mine.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway…
US only: Paperback copies of The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective
International: Ebook copies of The Dressmaker’s Secret and Ivy Introspective
Click the logo below to enter, good luck!!
The Dressmaker’s Secret
by Kellyn Roth
The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #1
Published June 14th 2017
After a revealing conversation with the first children of her age she’s ever met, curious eight-year-old Alice Chattoway realizes that one ought to have a father … and she doesn’t. Having determined that his absence is making her mother unhappy, Alice resolves to find him and create a family for herself.
However, Alice’s mother, Miss Chattoway, is reluctant to answer any questions posed about a man she’d much rather forget. While Alice investigates, Miss Chattoway tries to balance her own spiritual turmoil with her need to be both mother and provider to her daughters.
Will Alice ever unravel her mother’s secrets? Can Miss Chattoway let go of the past to reach for the future?
by Kellyn Roth
The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2
Published June 24th 2017
Trapped in a world where she doesn’t belong, twelve-year-old Ivy Knight struggles to keep her head above water as her simplicity is brought to light by her new position as a young lady growing up at Pearlbelle Park.
Worried about their daughter’s inability to fit in, Ivy’s parents decide to send her to McCale House, a boarding school in Scotland for boys and girls like her. However, alone and frightened without her beloved mother, sister, and nurse, Ivy can’t seem to focus.
Will Ivy ever learn what Dr. McCale is trying to teach her? Or will she remain lost in her own mind forever?
Kellyn Roth was born and raised in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon. Ever since she could talk, she’s had a fascination with words, always coming up with songs, poems, and stories. Now a homeschooled highschooler, she spends her spare time penning historical novels, several of which have been published.