Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame Book Review

Wentworth Hall by Abby GrahameWENTWORTH HALL by Abby Grahame Book Review
Publication Date: May 1st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: – Dreadful

Book Summary: A lush, historical novel about the secretive Darlingtons of Wentworth Hall! The prettiest people often have the ugliest secrets…

Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has turned into an entirely different person. The once spirited teen is now passive and reserved. A change Lord and Lady Darlington can’t help but be grateful for.

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 by Abby Grahame Book Review Overview:

  • Overdramatic dialogue, predictable plot
  • Flat characters
  • Trying too hard to appeal to Downton Abbey fans

Not going to lie, I basically did nothing for an entire week and went through two seasons of Downton Abbey. (I was also bedridden at the time, but that’s not my point.) I was basically obsessed and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the scene. I’m a sucker for drama and period pieces and Downton just had the right mix.

So when I stumbled upon Wentworth Hall, I just had to pick it up. The book was pitched as perfect for Downton fans like me. I should have realized that was a bad sign. Despite my initial excitement to read Wentworth Hall, it turned out to be a poorly written book that tried to latch onto the Downton fever.

Obivously, I’m a girl who likes period dramas, but there’s a line where drama becomes excessive. I think that Grahame tries to pack too much in one book. Everything bad that can possibly happen is happening to the Darlingtons. Wentworth Hall is a pretty quick read, and I didn’t feel like anything was developed enough. There was little to no suspense or mystery. I basically figured out all of the secrets as soon as I met each character. Drama isn’t very dramatic when you know what’s going to happen.

I think that Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame could have been passable with the excessive drama if the writing was up to par. Sadly, I just couldn’t overlook the bad quality. The dialogue was poorly written and it made me want to constantly roll my eyes. How can I sympathize with any of the characters when they are constantly whining and being overdramatic? I felt like I was reading a telenovela… and not in a good way. I never really connected with any of the characters, so my interest level in the book wavered as I progressed.

The ending was rushed and practically came out of nowhere. If I had been enjoying this book, I would have been really disappointed by the ending. To be honest, I was just kind of relieved that this train wreck of a book was finally over.

Wenthworth Hall by Abby Grahame was just trying too hard to appeal to Downton Abbey fever.


  1. I wasn’t a fan of this one, either. It seemed like the only research the author did was through watching period dramas like Downton Abbey. I snorted so hard at the moment where the maid pulls a piece of frozen bagel out of the freezer. What is traditional Jewish bread doing in the kitchen of an aristocratic British family in that time period? Seriously.

    1. Yeah, it was pretty obvious early on in the book that this wasn’t going to be historically accurate at all. I was deceived by a pretty cover. :(

  2. Oh gosh I couldn’t agree more. i was totally sickened by the lack of originality in this book. For cryin’ out loud – STOP COPYING DOWNTON. It was actually kind of laughable by the end of my skimming experience. Just. No.

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