YA Review: Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore


Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore

Age Range: 12 and up

Grade Level: 7 and up

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: Point (January 28, 2014)


Genre: Historical fiction/romance

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

About the Book:

The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

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,

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

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.  

About the Author:

Katherine Longshore is a former costume designer, coffee house barista
and preschool teacher who has finally found her calling writing
historical fiction for teens. She is the author of GILT, TARNISH, and
BRAZEN, a series of novels set in the court of Henry VIII published by
Viking. After five years exploring castles and country manors in
England, she now lives in California with three British citizens and one
expatriate dog. Visit her online at www.katherinelongshore.com.

My Thoughts:

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

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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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Michelle@Book Briefs
    June 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I don't read too many historical books, so I think that a young adult historical is the way for me to go to break into the genre.

    This one looks good. Thanks for sharing it with me,

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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