Upon going to read a novel with a similar theme I remembered I read this. It's about a maid who's strong (I think) but not very smart? She just follows the rules of what a maid is supposed to do and was initially treated terribly by her master. Eventually he/his family falls from his rank and none of his other maids follow him, but she (the one he mistreated because of her ugly? Appearance) protects him and helps him heal his injuries. He finds reason to live again through her At some point in time they become affluent again and he tries to make her understand he loves her/wants her to be his wife but she doesn't understand until the very end and decides to stay?