(Goodreads) 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.The Short Story? - I can definitely see the similarities to Downton Abbey! Beautifully written and deliciously scandalous, Grahame's YA debut is filled with dirty secrets, secret agendas and unexpected betrayals between the beautiful and the damned. Following the lives of the rich and powerful, Wentworth Hall is your insider's guide to what life is really like behind closed doors. Notoriously twisted, Wentworth Hall is the perfect for those who like their historical fiction with a little bit of drama!
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…
The Long Story? - I *really* enjoyed Wentworth Hall but there was this one aspect of the novel that really annoyed me. It was too short. Normally I like short novels but Grahame has created such an amazing premise for the novel, it was such a shame to see it end so soon. It's not even a series! BUT that's just a personal preference thing. Onto the review, Wentworth is a very solid debut that will definitely appeal to fans of both historical fiction and contemporary. If you like scandals, dirty secrets and lots of drama, Wentworth Hall is definitely one to pick up. The length of the novel doesn't really allow much room to "beat around to the bush" so if you like your novels direct and straight to the point, put this one on your radar. There is also a mystery element to the novel that I really enjoyed. The romance wasn't a major part of the novel which seems to be the focus of most historical fiction and I found the lack of romance quite unique. If you're a fan of Anna Godberson's YA novels, Wentworth Hall is right up your alley!
One of the downsides of a short novel is that it doesn't give the author much time to develop characters. In this case, it's not exactly a concern because Wentworth Hall is more plot-based than character-based. However I would have liked to see a little more depth in the characters. One of the things I liked about the novel was how the spotlight was shared among the characters, Wentworth Hall doesn't really have a protagonist, everyone is equal and that was quite original. My favourite characters were probably Therese or Maggie, these two girls were quite developed so I could connect with them, especially Therese. I felt like their personalities were more compatible with mine and that allowed me to understand them better than the other characters. Overall it was a good characterisation, it's definitely not as in depth as other books but it wasn't really a problem in the bigger picture.
Wentworth Hall is one of those novels that have many different plots that interweave into a bigger picture. The plot is detailed and it has all those elements that make a novel enjoyable. A little mystery, drama, betrayal and romance. Filled with delicious scandals and dirty secrets, Wentworth Hall is the insider's story of the not-so-glamourous lives of the beautiful, rich and powerful! If this sounds like anything you would enjoy, check it out!
What's it Worth? - Squeeze into the Budget/ Hand Over the Paycheck
Badass Bookie xx