Downton Abbey fans: go to the bookstore. Today. Well, first, finish this review, and then go. Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore (published by Point, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.) is a lighter version of the beloved television show, aimed at readers 12 and up. With drama upstairs and down, it's full of class division, fancy dresses, impropriety, and high tea. Adults and teens alike will enjoy this novel.
Summary: At The Manor, nothing is as it seems...
Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.
Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage — or the means — to break free and follow her passions.
Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives... forever.
If you love period novels and enjoy the drama of Downton Abbey, this book makes for great reading in between episodes or seasons. Entirely age-appropriate for younger readers, this is a story of love, identity, family, and, of course, social drama. The book ends with a startling plot twist, which gives it some oomph, but otherwise, this is a charming, easy, and light read.
Beautifully written and an enchanting YA story, Manor of Secrets was a great book for my morning commute. Katherine Longshore has written a delightful story for an audience who craves to be lost in the romanticism of an elegant society and a good cup of tea.