Saturday, 22 September 2012

#155 Book Review: Wentworth Hall

Wentworth Hall
Release Date: July 1st 2012
Author: Abby Grahame
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy: Fishpond | Booktopia | Dymocks
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
It’s 1912 and the Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall have more than just their extensive grounds to maintain. They need to keep up appearances that things are as they have always been for one of England’s most elite families... even as whispers of secret romances and bitter betrayals threaten their façade of perfection.

Maggie Darlington has a secret. And she’s not the only one: The handsome groom, Michael, the beautiful new French nanny, Therese, even Maggie’s youngest sister, Lila, are all hiding something. And when scandalous satires start appearing in the newspaper with details that closely mirror the lives of the Darlingtons, they are soon looking over their shoulders, worrying about whose scandal will be next - because at Wentworth Hall, nothing stays secret forever.
Really reflects the book! I'm pretty sure the girls on the cover represent Maggie, Therese and Lila while the guy might be Michael! Either way, I like the historical feeling of the cover!


Meet scandal, your new best friend...

What's life without any scandals? Especially when you're the Darlingtons? Well, let me introduce you to the Darlingtons. We have Maggie, the oldest daughter and Lila, the younger sister. Might I remind you that I'm not writing a satire. We also have James, a newborn baby who Maggie seems highly attached to. Oh, and not to forget Therese, a French nanny, Michael, a handsome groom and scandals! Welcome to the life of the Darlingtons.

When I read about Wentworth Hall for the first time, I really wanted to read it. It's pitched as Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl so I was intrigued. I love Gossip Girl although I haven't watched Downton Abbey. I do agree that there are some aspects of Gossip Girl in the book, particularly since it revolves around 'rich' people and scandals surrounding their lives. But, the scandal itself is not very shocking or surprising. The scandals are exposed when an anonymous author starts writing satires of the Darlingtons by using different names, calling them the 'Worthless'. Since the author must be living with the Darlingtons, I knew who it was immediately. The scandal itself wasn't very new. It's quite obvious and common. However, I do like reading the satires inserted in the book. It's quite funny actually, since the characters' names are hilarious! I did enjoy the book overall and Abby's writing.

The Darlingtons are quite interesting to read about although I ended up becoming more interested in Michael and Therese, the groom and the nanny rather than Maggie and Lila themselves. After Maggie's return from France, she changed. But of course, there is a reason behind the change and when I discovered it, I felt sad for Maggie. Meanwhile, Lila's behaviour is quite typical for a younger sister. She feels overshadowed by Maggie, her beauty and how many suitors tend to fall head over heels for her. However, towards the end of the book, Lila did something brilliant and I must applaud her for doing that and fixing her relationship with Maggie. Lord Darlington is an annoying man who is in a hurry to marry her daughter with a rich lord to save the Darlington's wealth and fortune. But overall, the characters are actually enjoyable to read about since they have different stories and characteristics!

So, you like your new best friend; scandal? Wentworth Hall is an enjoyable historical fiction revolving the lives of the Darlingtons. Discover Maggie, Lila, Michael and Therese's secrets while enjoying a great setting, topped with satires of the 'Worthless'! If you enjoy Gossip Girl, definitely give this book a try since it's quite similar to the show but set in the 1910s!
3 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Wentworth Hall!
Thank you Simon & Schuster Australia for the review copy!


  1. I'm not fond of reading books about rich people and their scandals but I do like to watch them instead. That cover looks really nice and the characters look sooo sophisticated and classy! Thanks for the review, Celine!

  2. I agree with Chel. I think this might be something I would prefer to watch as a show (not that I watch much TV anyway) than read as a book. I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it, Celine! Thanks for the helpful review. :)

  3. gr8 review . i love scandals

  4. My first impression of the book when I finished the book was so-so. The ending felt a little bit to rushed and happy-go-lucky. Wentworth Hall has potential, but it's really lacking in some areas.

  5. Scandals! Who doesn't love them? I may not read this since I didn't really like the Gossip Girl books but maybe I'll watch it if it ever gets adapted into a TV series. Heh! :p Great review, Celine!

  6. I have had my eye out on this for ages. I love historical fiction and the fact that this has hints of Gossip Girl vibes to it, too. Awesome review, Celine. Can't wait to read this one :)

  7. Vivian the Spirit says: Lovely review, Celine! I'm sorry to say that I dropped this one after the first couple of chapters :( A rare happening, but for some reason, this one didn't click for me. Glad to hear that it was enjoyable for you, though! I did like GG as well <3 and it's definitely got the intriguing feeling surrounding the scandal-y theme! Thanks for sharing the great review!

  8. I don't like books about rich, useless people who do mundane things nor do I watch any TV, BUT I do like historical fiction and The Luxe (which remindes me of this, btw) has and always will be a guilty pleasure of mine. :) I love juicy secrets and tantalizing, atmospheric settings, what can I say? Nice to see that you liked this one, Celine! Great review.

  9. It sounds like this book has a lot of potential but perhaps it needed a bit more work. I do like the sound of Downton meets Gossip Girl because I like both shows!

  10. Sounds kind of interesting! Definitely different from most of the YA books that are out there right now... at least the ones that I've seen lately.


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