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Wentworth Hall by: Abby Grahame

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Through the Looking Glass: Wentworth Hall by: Abby Grahame

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wentworth Hall by: Abby Grahame

Wentworth Hall

Wentworth Hall by: Abby Grahame
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Format: Nook Book
Genre: England, Contemporary, Historical Fiction
Page Count: 276 (Nook Book: 155)
Cover Rating: 7/10
Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Summary from Goodreads:

The prettiest people often have the ugliest secrets…
Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for.
It’s 1912, and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just the extensive grounds to maintain. As one of Britain’s most elite families, they need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been… even as their carefully constructed façade rapidly comes undone.
Maggie has a secret. And she’s not the only one… the handsome groom Michael, the beautiful new French nanny Therese, the Darlingtons’ teenage houseguests Teddy and Jessica, and even Maggie’s younger sister Lila are all hiding something. Passion, betrayal, heartache, and whispered declarations of love take place under the Darlingtons’ massive roof. And one of these secrets has the power to ruin the Darlingtons forever.
When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, everyone is looking over their shoulder, worrying their scandal will be next. Because at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long.


“  Peering into the crack of the open door, Nora saw Maggie sink into the ripped leather couch, weeping.
    Nora decided to let Maggie have her moment of grief in private. When she was sure that Teddy was gone, she scampered back down the dark, moonlit hall, to her room.”

My Review:

Whenever I hear about a book set in the Roaring 20’s or early 1900’s, I must read it. That was the main thing that made me read this book. It was also portrayed to be about a family with lots of dark, ugly secrets. I thought, what could be a better combination? It didn’t turn out to be as amazing as I hoped for, but it was still a good read and I’m glad I read it. Any brief trip to the 20’s is great to me!

Wentworth Hall is the title of the book and also the name for an enormous estate owned by the Darlington family. They are old money, but these days things aren’t looking so good for them financially. The book starts off with Maggie Darlington returning from a year long stay in France. With her new maturity and worldliness, her family notices that she has also grown uncharacteristically indifferent towards everyone. She used to be a fierce horsewoman with a no-nonsense attitude. Her sister Lila and some of the house staff grow curious as to what happened in France to change her so.

Lila, the sixteen year old sister of Maggie, is the baby of the family. While she has matured into a young woman, her parents and everyone seem to think she should still be treated like a little girl. Maggie has always had the spotlight with boys and people in general. As much as Lila tries, guys just fall head over heels in love with Maggie and leave Lila by the wayside.

Nora, the ladies maid to Lila and Maggie, is all about gossiping and learning secrets about the Darlington's and whoever else. The book switches perspectives between most of the main characters, which I didn’t particularly enjoy in this book, but it was okay. Terrible satires about the Darlington family are posted in a newspaper and it could be any one of the family or staff. This was a very mysterious element of the story that kept me guessing!

As for the secrets in Wentworth Hall, they weren’t exactly what I expected. I expected them to be darker, or something. But rest assured, they are definitely juicy and scandalous!

I’ve heard this book heavily compared to the popular British television show, Downton Abbey, and while I like the show better, this book is certainly for fans of the show. It focuses a lot on the house staff as the show does and has secrets galore!

Wentworth Hall was a rather short read. I both liked and didn’t like that. Some details could have been better explained but it ended well. It was a fun and quick read for those of you who like that sort of thing.

Official Rating:

Three Un-birthday cakes
Three Un-Birthday Cakes

Like the 1920’s? Here’s some books you may like:

(Click on the image for more info!)

Bright Young Things (Bright Young Things, #1) Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things, #2) The Lucky Ones (Bright Young Things, #3) The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) Vixen (Flappers, #1) Ingenue (Flappers, #2) Diva (Flappers, #3) Debutantes 


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