Synopsis according to Goodreads:
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.“
Wentworth Hall is lushly imagined, with a full complement of characters, both upstairs and downstairs. I got the feeling that Abby Grahame is a Downton Abbey fan.
The book is a fun romp, and good for YA and fans of YA. However, the ending was rushed and very “Deus Ex Machina”. I disliked her sudden demonizing of one character in order to give everyone else a happy ending- it seemed like a cop-out. I also wondered what happened to the handful of characters she starts delving into, but then abandons by the end.
Still, if you’re looking for a light Edwardian-era historic story, this is worth a read through. I recommend it for fans of historic fiction YA, Upstairs Downstairs, and very light coming-of-age stories.
I’m a coffee-fueled, hobby-addicted bibliophage who makes cruelty-free mineral eye shadows (inspired by novels). I’m usually in front of a screen (writing, reading, or gaming), but I’ve been known to emerge for geekery, good food, and dark chocolate.