Thursday, 5 July 2012
Review: Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Released: July 5th, 2012
Wentworth Hall is one of England's oldest estates and the Darlingtons are among the elite class of British society. But under all that wealth, there are secrets they do not want told. When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details suspiciously similar to the goings on of Wentworth Hall, the Darlingtons are determined to keep their secrets to themselves and the affairs (both private and public) in order. And the first order of business is finding the culprit. But where to start? Downstairs? Or Upstairs?
I think most of my blog readers know by now that I love books and TV shows that centre around rich kids, gossip and scandal. I'm also fond of period dramas set in the early 1900s, because of the manners and propriety. Wentworth Hall is like both those things mixed together - like Gossip Girl and Downton Abbey, if you will - which to me makes an excellent book. Honestly, I was hooked just from reading the back cover.
Wentworth Hall is set in 1912 (the Titanic's sinking is mentioned at least once) and is about the Darlington family. Lord and Lady Darlington, their son Wes and daughters Maggie and Lila make up the family, while maids Nora and Therese and stable boy Michael round out the help below stairs. This is typical Downton Abbey; let's be honest here. You've got the privileged family, the servants, the hall. Not to mention bucketloads of scandal and many secrets just waiting for a chance to get out!
Wentworth Hall isn't the best book you'll ever read, but it's quick and fun. Even though it's set in 1912, the language flows well and isn't hard to read (I struggle with classics because of this), and you get hooked pretty quickly. Each character is layered, with hidden secrets and agendas, and it's not until the end that everything becomes clear. I don't have a stand-out character that I absolutely adored, though I do like Maggie and her rebellious side. Also, Michael the stable boy? Yep, he's not too bad either.
I've seen Wentworth Hall compared to The Luxe series and, if I'm honest, I much preferred this one. I never did get on with The Luxe very well, it was too slow for me. I think this book moves at a better pace, and it's also hard not to get drawn in immediately. So, if like me, you're anxiously awaiting the next seasons of Gossip Girl and Downton Abbey, give Wentworth Hall a read - you won't be disappointed!