Thursday, February 16, 2012

This Looks Familiar: Wentworth Hall

I just stumbled across this upcoming YA historical fiction title and it caught my attention-- Wentworth Hall, by Abby Grahame, coming from Simon & Schuster on May 1.

Excerpt from the publisher's summary:
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 facade 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.

So, basically, this book sounds like it's trying REALLY hard to be Downton Abbey for teens. I'm raising an eyebrow, but you know... I just might fall for it! At the very least, I'll order it for my library and flip through a few pages to see if the writing style appeals to me. Who knows? Maybe I'll want to add it to my list of Downton Abbey readalikes.

I'm really curious, though: did the manuscript get picked up by the publisher because it happens to fit into the current Downton Abbey craze? Was the author specifically asked to write something that would appeal to Downton Abbey fans? Or maybe it's a complete coincidence.

What do you think? The publishing industry fascinates me.


  1. Not a coincidence, I promise you! It's possible the book was already on the publisher's list before Downton Abbey took off, but in regards to the packaging (the cover, the catalog copy), any similarities to Downton Abbey are the opposite of accidental.

    Off to reread your earlier post; I need a Downton fix. A week is too long between eps, and I am going to FREAK OUT when the season is over...

  2. I started watching Downton Abbey and for some reason stopped. I really need to get back to that and see what all the craze is about. But the book looks interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I wonder about these things too! Also, now I'm DYING to watch the latest episode (we missed it on Sunday).

  4. Courtney, thanks for weighing in! I love getting your perspective, since you're in the industry. Great point about the marketing-- the actual contents of the book may or may not be Downton Abbey inspired, but it's ALLLLL about the marketing! It's brilliant, really. Gotta strike while the iron is hot! And oh my goodness, I will join you in FREAKING OUT... I don't know if I can handle a hiatus while we wait for the next season!

    Valia, oh, I am SO hooked on Downton. I definitely recommend getting back into it... it's addictive! I'm very eager to take a look at this book- could be fun!

    Janssen, aaaaaah, I hope you are all caught up with Downton! The latest episode (2 HOURS!) was epic. As are they all.


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