Sunday, June 2, 2013
In this richly layered debut novel, Cate Campbell introduces the wealthy Benedict family and takes us behind the grand doors of their mansion, Benedict Hall. There, family and servants alike must face the challenges wrought by World War I--and the dawn of a new age brimming with scandal, intrigue, and social change.
Seattle in 1920 is a city in flux. Horse-drawn carriages share the cobblestone streets with newfangled motor cars. Modern girls bob their hair and show their ankles, cafés defy Prohibition by serving dainty teacups of whisky to returning vets--and the wartime boom is giving way to a depression. Even within the Benedicts' majestic Queen Anne home, life is changing--above and below stairs.
Margot, the Benedicts' free-spirited daughter, struggles to succeed as a physician despite gender bias--and personal turmoil. The household staff, especially longtime butler Abraham Blake, have always tried to protect Margot from her brother Preston's cruel streak. Yet war has altered Preston too--not for the better. And when a chance encounter brings a fellow army officer into the Benedict fold, Preston's ruthlessness is triggered to new heights.
An engineer at the fledgling Boeing company, Frank Parrish has been wounded body and soul, and in Margot, he senses a kindred spirit. But their burgeoning friendship and Preston's growing wickedness will have explosive repercussions for everyone at Benedict Hall--rich and poor, black and white--as Margot dares to follow her own path, no matter the consequences.
I must say right off I bought this book for two reasons...First reason: I love the cover of this book, The Second reason: I bought it was because it indicated if you liked Downton Abbey, then you will probably like this book. It really didn't remind me much of Downton Abbey, other then the fact that it was set in the 1920s, not in England, but in Seattle, Washington.
However, Cate Campbell, the author did a good job with her debut novel. The story was full of intrigue, conspiracy, and a bit of light romance. I was drawn into the story by the characters, all different in their own way. Some of them you come to love, some you just like, and then there was Preston, who I grew to hate. He was so much a part of the story, I just don't know if I liked this story or not. When you hate a vindictive character so much it makes it difficult to even like the story, I guess that makes the author unique, some authors just don't have that kind of talent.
As far as how many stars I will award this book...I will have to think about this story some more, but for now I will award it 3*** I liked it but I'm on the fence as to how much I liked it. It was a historical novel which I enjoyed, so that made it a bit more interesting to me, but all-in-all I just can't decide whether I like it alot or just like it....
This book is a part of my Nook Library.