Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wentworth Hall

Recently, several of my coworkers and I found ourselves adicted to the world of Downton Abbey.  OK, so, I may have been leading the charge.  But, I consider this time well spent.  There is so much cultural development one can make at the Abbey.  I am clearly a more sophisticated person for having donated my life to this show.  Our lives are markedly better, except now we are all insane with the anticipation of the next season.  Lucky for me, one of my fellow Downton lovers found Wentworth Hall (read an excerpt here) by Abby GrahameWentworth Hall is the answer to Downton Abbey for the younger set.  Even its cover says, "And you thought there were secrets at the Abbey."  Boy, was that cover correct!

Wentworth Hall features the Darlington family, Maggie, Lila, Wesley, young James, and their parents, as well as the staff of servants.  Unfortunately, the Darlington's have fallen upon hard times and the oppulent Wentworth Hall is not what it once was.  Lord and Lady Darlington creatively plot ways to garner a profitable marriage for Maggie in hopes of helping the family's current economic status, but after Maggie returned from an extended stay in France, she doesn't seem interested in making a match with any of the potential suitors.

Just after Maggie's return, two houseguests arrive.  Teddy and Jessica are the children of one of Lord Darlington's recently deceased and newly rich friends.  Teddy and Jessica eagerly await their eighteenth birthday (the time when they will receive their inheritance) under the roof of Wentworth Hall.  Seems as though Teddy and Maggie could make a fantastic match...

I like to imagine Cousin Matthew reading the
Worthless Coulum.
And, then there are the servants.  Therese is the French nanny who is new on the scene.  Therese tends to baby James, the unexpected late in life son of Lord and Lady Darlington.  There is something familiar about her that no one can quite put a finger on.  Nora is the hand maid of the young Darlington's.  She dreams of leaving service to open a tea room.  And, of coure there is Michael, who appears only to have eyes for the lovely Maggie Darlington.  Oh, my!

As if there weren't enough drama.  A new column has began runing in the local paper.  This satire details all the intimate secrets of the Darlington family under the thinly veiled name of Worthless Hall.  It's scandalous.

This is quite a fun read.  And, if you, like I, eagerly await the arrival of Downton Abbey's season three, Wentworth Hall is a great substitute.  I love a great historical fiction book.  Also, even though this may seem a bit silly, I like it because it is a stand alone novel.  There was a nice resolution at the end, and I don't have to add another thing to wait for to my list.  Give it a try. 

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