Author: Abby Grahame.
Published: May 1st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
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.
I had some troubles with Maggie, especially before I knew her secret. She is snobby and unpleasant to be around with. She acts like she cares about nothing and she is so emotionless. It’s hard to connect with her and the old stories about how spirited she was meant nothing to me. I did warmed up for her in the end.
Teddy and Jessica are the perfect example of rich people. They truly believe they are better than anyone else and they are mean to everyone below their station. There is also the overlooked daughter Lila, who is lonely now Maggie changed. She is out shined and tries everything to get attention from Teddy. I felt sorry for this girl and her constant hunger for attention and love.
The return of brother Wesley brings new tension, because someone is spreading their secrets by writing a story about ‘Worthless hall’ in a newspaper. Can they discover the culprit before it is too late? I liked this bit of mystery and how the articles are included in the story. It was funny to read about them through the eyes of someone else. I had two suspicions and it was nicely done.
Overall, not a bad story. The setting was good, the characters were interesting and I like how everything wrapped up.