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Manor of Secrets Hardcover – January 28, 2014

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Point (January 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545567580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545567589
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—A divisive wall exists between the upstairs and downstairs quarters of the English Manor where Lady Charlotte Edmonds, 16, and kitchen servant Janie Seward reside. Charlotte yearns for an adventure beyond the stringent structure of upper-crust society, while her new friend Janie seems content to remain a cook. Neither suspects the secrets that lurk within the manor when Charlotte's mysterious Aunt Beatrice comes to visit. Reminiscent of the British television series Upstairs Downstairs, the plot starts at a leisurely pace, providing a detailed portrait of the daily mechanisms of 19th-century manor life and how both classes coexist. Longshore captures the tension expressed by Charlotte and Janie in their efforts to cope with limitations and unfulfilled dreams. She compares the harsh, never-ending workday of one paired with the other's tediously predictable station in life. The novel's dominant theme emerges midway through when hidden truths appear beneath masklike facades. Andrew Broadhurst, Charlotte's intended, is not as dull as he first seems, nor is Lawrence, the footman, truly worth Charlotte's lifelong devotion. Despite a predictably happy ending, the message is clear: people are far more complex than they appear on the surface, no matter their class or station in life. This is a light historical romance.—Etta Anton, Yeshiva of Central Queens, NY

From Booklist

With the Lady Sybil look-alike on the cover, along with the catch phrase “Upstairs. Downstairs. Drama,” we know where this is going. Here the heroine is Lady Charlotte, whose mother has her eye on Lord Andrew as a potential husband. But Charlotte finds him boring, unlike Lawrence, the handsome footman. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Janie is happy with her job cooking, but she too, like Charlotte, wants a life with more freedom and opportunities for change. Is there a connection between the girls? You bet. There will be romance and surprises, yes, and while some of the twists seem obvious, there are some readers won’t see coming. (Though one wonders how one secret in particular was kept so long in such a chatty household.) Longshore does a more than respectable job with a genre that’s become familiar with the success of Downton Abbey. The plot skips along, and even when things are at their most soap-operaish, this makes for a fun look back in time. Grades 9-11. --Ilene Cooper

More About the Author

Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever. Four years, six continents and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshiping dog.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
It just goes to show you that times have changed, but people really haven't.
They could've had more character development and they acted a bit unrealistically at times; however, they're easy to root for.
Kaitlyn (The Bookworm)
Ever since I saw this cover and read the synopsis I knew I had to get my hands on this book.
A Reading Nurse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Reading Nurse on February 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Ever since I saw this cover and read the synopsis I knew I had to get my hands on this book. When I received a package from Scholastic and saw that they had sent me an ARC of this book I had to put down everything else that I was reading to start this one.

This story is one of two different girls living in the same house but both living completely different lives. One of the girls is Lady Charlotte, a 16 year old girl who has everything every other girl her age could possibly want, except for what Charlotte wants most: Freedom and adventure. She meets Janie, a kitchen maid who Charlotte feels has everything she doesn't, freedom, and adventure and a true group of friends.

Janie on the other hand, does not have a great opinion of Lady Charlotte. I mean who can admire a girl who doesn't know how to make a cup of tea. But as Lady Charlotte starts making an attempt to get to know the kitchen staff better and Janie's opinion of Charlotte may start changing.

A new character comes into mix, when Charlotte's notorious aunt comes back into play and Charlotte asks Janie's help to find out the truth behind her disappearance and what they discover will change both of their lives for ever.

There were so many aspects that I loved about this book. I am a sucker for historical fiction, specifically ones that are set around the Regency Period. I loved the friendship that forms between Charlotte and Janie and how that some characters you start hating from the beginning of the book start changing and you end up liking them towards the end. But the main reason that I ended up giving this book a 4 star review instead of a 3.5 start review, was because of the fact that almost towards the beginning of the book I thought that I had guessed the big reveal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AboutToRead on April 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I hate to say it, but Manor of Secrets was such a disappointment to me. It sounds like something I would just love and the cover was beautiful, but I really had to struggle to get through it. There were so many times where I just wanted to put it down and not finish it. I’m terrible at DNF-ing books though, so I kept on going.

All of my problems with Manor of Secrets stems from the main characters, Lady Charlotte & Janie. I found them both to be so unrealistic given the period of the book. They were far too modern, and their actions were completely out of line.

Let’s start with Charlotte. She is overly familiar with the servants. I felt like we were going for a Lady Sybil character here, but it just did not work! There were absolutely no boundaries and she was too worried about what people downstairs thought of her. I get that sometimes there are upstairs/downstairs relationships, but the way this girl’s thought process worked and the extent of her approval seeking from the lower class, combined with her utter disdain for the aristocracy was so irritating - especially considering she is a member of the upper class herself.

Then there is Janie. Janie is a servant, but don’t tell her that! What an attitude! Sheesh. I get that she’s jealous and her life is hard, but the way she talks to Charlotte is completely unacceptable for the time period. She’d be fired in a heartbeat. And what does Charlotte do about Janie’s rudeness? Nothing. She wants Janie to accept her and is so self conscious about her actions, it almost comes across as if she feels she deserves Janie’s unkind words and gestures.

Even though I hated the characters, I have to admit that the plot wasn’t that bad.
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By Dena on September 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a good, clean historical book that teens will enjoy. Lady Charlotte is an imaginative and slightly rebellious teenager living in a time and place that tolerates neither imagination nor rebellion--especially in women. She feels trapped by her mother's expectations, society's expectations, and the Manor she calls home. And then she meets Janie, the kitchen maid who wants nothing more than to stay and work at The Manor for the rest of forever. She doesn't want anything to change.

There is a fun upstairs/downstairs dynamic in the book that's become popular recently. But unlike other books, this one didn't overdo the number of characters. They were developed well enough that I didn't have trouble remembering who was who. It was also a clean read. I can't tell you how much I appreciate seeing a clean young adult book. They are far too uncommon.

Some of the ideas and themes could have been developed more. I didn't get a great sense of the change that was supposedly coming. It would have been nice to have the mysteries behind Aunt Beatrice developed more. As it was, she popped up a few times, but didn't have much to do with anything until the very end. The ending was very dramatic and didn't fit with the rest of the book very well. It was over the top whereas the rest of the book hadn't been. I didn't like the way a couple characters took the blame for everything that happened when Charlotte was just as much at fault (if not more so).

That being said, I still liked the book a lot. It's a good book and will appeal to teen girls that enjoy Downton Abbey, historical fiction, and romance.

Content: Clean, but there is some kissing.

Source: I received a digital galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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