A must-read for Downton Abbey fans—a lush, historical novel about the secretive Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall.
Can’t get enough of Downton Abbey? Visit Wentworth Hall. It’s one of England’s oldest estates, and the Darlingtons are among the elite class of British society. But under the wealth are secrets that must stay hidden.
It’s 1912, and eighteen-year-old Maggie and her mother have just returned from a year abroad where Lady Darlington has had a baby boy, James. But he is not the only addition to the house. They have also brought back Therese, their new French tutor, as well as welcomed the orphaned teenage twins, Teddy and Jessica, who have just lost their father aboard the Titanic. This adds to an already crowded house of Darlingtons and staff, all of whom have a penchant for gossiping about their employers.
As time passes, it becomes clear that Teddy and Jessica would rather be anywhere else and that Maggie is a different person from the one who left Wentworth. Her family’s financial future rests with her finding the best husband—and her parents are sure that is Teddy.
When scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, the family is determined to find the culprit and keep their affairs under wraps. But at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret for long….
Maggie is the eldest daughter of the (formerly) wealthy Darlington family of Wentworth Hall, a sprawling and once glorious manor in the English countryside yet she's in love with a lowly stable groom. Lila is her na ve younger sister, jealous of Maggie's popularity with the boys, especially their handsome, rich visitor, Teddy Fitzhugh, to whom Lord and Lady Darlington hope to wed Maggie. Enter a bevy of servants with their own scandals, loves, and grievances, plus Teddy's nasty twin sister, Jessica, and readers are set up for nonstop period drama. Grahame's witty debut is a terrific start to a series in the vein of Anna Godbersen's The Luxe books, with a setting that will thrill Downton Abbey fans. A minor shortcoming: the satirical interludes, written anonymously by someone with inside knowledge of the Darlingtons' financial situation and published serially in a newspaper. While they supply additional intrigue as the family struggles to determine who the interloper is, they disrupt what is otherwise the delicious, gossipy, drama-filled life of the Darlington ladies and their counterparts in the servants' quarters. Ages 12 up.
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I absolutely love this book. It really makes you feel as if you are in the story!