Monday, March 04, 2013

If You Like Downton Abbey . . .

"We all have chapters we'd rather keep unpublished." 
 ~ Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, Downton Abbey

 
The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

The toast of 1893 Newport society, Cora Cash is beautiful, clever, and very, very rich. She's also in need of a suitable husband, which prompts Cora's domineering mother to drag her to England to trade their family's money for a title. Nothing less than a duke will do for Cora, and the handsome Duke of Wareham, known as "Ivo," appears to fit the bill. But the pampered heiress is unprepared for the reality that lies beneath the fairy tale fa├žade. Depicting circumstances similar to those that inspired the marriage of the Earl and Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey, The American Heiress combines "flavors of Edith Wharton, Daphne du Maurier, Jane Austen, Upstairs, Downstairs, and a dash of People magazine" (Kirkus Reviews).

The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones

Sterne, the magnificent Edwardian manor house belonging to the family of Charlotte Torrington Swift, is on the verge of ruin. Although most of the servants have decamped, Charlotte remains steadfast in her determination to celebrate her daughter's 20th birthday in style. Disrupting her plans are some uninvited and decidedly unwelcome guests: the stranded survivors of a railway accident who must be lodged at the house until the Great Central Railroad can make other accommodations. But that's not the worst part. One traveler, Charlie Traversham-Beechers, knows much more than is seemly about Charlotte and her family. Will he bring their world crashing down around them? If you enjoy satirical depictions of high society full of unexpected twists and turns, don't miss this darkly humorous novel.

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

In 1924, celebrated poet Robbie Hunter shot himself during a house party at Riverton Manor. But what really happened that night? A young filmmaker wants the truth, and the answer lies with Grace Reeves Bradley, a 98-year-old nursing home resident once employed as a maid to Riverton's aristocratic Hartford family. As Grace recalls her early years in service and the events that led to that fatal night, she also reveals long-buried secrets concerning Robbie and the Hartford sisters -- as well as her own connection to the family. Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca in both atmosphere and style, The House at Riverton should also appeal to Downton Abbey fans who enjoy faithful recreations of life during the late Edwardian Era, World War I, and the 1920s.


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