Benedict Hall

Benedict Hall

3.5 12
by Cate Campbell
     
 

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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.

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jennifer McIntosh
Frank Parrish is back in the States after voluntarily serving overseas for the King's Army in the First World War. He is looking for work when he runs into a fellow soldier, Preston Benedict, who promises to help him. Parrish winds up getting entrenched in Benedict's family life, especially with his sister Margot, a doctor at a time when women were encouraged to be nurses, but not doctors. Benedict Hall alternates the viewpoints of the story between Parrish, Preston Benedict, Margot Benedict, and the Benedict's African-American butler, Blake. The novel starts out slowly, taking time to introduce each of the characters and establish the background of the story. It feels very much like a show setting the stage and the back cover claims that fans of TV's Downton Abbey will enjoy it. Once the introductions are done and Campbell focuses on the heart of the tale—Preston's odd, sadistic nature and its effects on those around him—it truly does become a page-turner. Campbell has a flair for historical fiction, which is not surprising since Campbell is author Louise Marley's new pseudonym for stories that are pure historical fiction. Benedict Hall will not disappoint fans of the genre. Campbell handles issues of gender and race, as well as family conflict, quite well against the larger backdrop of a country coming of age. Reviewer: Jennifer McIntosh

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758287595
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,087,724
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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Benedict Hall 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
vjchance More than 1 year ago
I won this book in the Giveaway program from LibraryThing. I read it in two days. Ms. Campbell is a good writer, and this novel shows her sk in writing a complex novel with a very engaging plot. Most of the characters were well developed, and as a reader I understood their motivations. My only quibble is with her villain and the villain's mother. I found myself wishing for more information about why these two people were so dysfunctional. The story kept me interested, and I read until nearly two a.m. last night trying to finish. I don't do that too often, but I really wanted to know what happened. I highly recommend this good read.
LovesToReadRose More than 1 year ago
I thought this was going to be a light period read, possibly an HEA. It wasn't. I had a hard time getting through the descriptions and personal tragedies of war. Then the villain enters the scene with his evil talisman. The story wasn't what I expected & not one I would have read if I'd known what it was going to be about. But, having said that, I do think it was well written for the kind of book it was. If you like gritty, real life issues from the 20's spiced with a "powerful" sapphire, you might enjoy this book. Review by LovesToReadRose. 02/15/14
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the notorious benedict arnold also avalible on the nook and i loved it this book is just as great too
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very excited to have found this novel, especially since I have lived in Seattle, and adore the life of the 1920's. I started reading the novel, and four chapters in I shut the book never to ever read it again. The story is NOT at all what you would think. I think Ms. Campbell is a great writer, developed her characters well. But the story was awful!  The shift in the story actually made me sick to my stomache. The young Mr. Benedict so disgusted me with his thoughts and actions, I had no desire to see what happened in the end. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first in a series by Cate Campbell was, for me, a real page burner. This story is set in Seattle of the 1920s and it was great fun seeing what my old town used to look like through this author's eyes. As a retired Boeing employee, it was also fun to see how she treated Bill Boeing and The Boeing Company, at the time a small company building seaplanes. The careful and thorough research by the author is delightfully woven into a story of love, jealous hatred, and a bit of ancient history through a magical stone the villain picked up while at war in Jerusalem that used to belong to Roxelana.  The people of this book are alive, and their surroundings given with such marvelous detail, I could almost reach out and touch them. I'm positive Benedict Hall actually exists, somewhere, in Seattle, just under a different name. Margo Benedict is one of the few women physicians in Seattle, indeed of the time. Her father is one of the wealthiest men in Seattle, but she wants to do things her way, on her own without his help. Her mother doesn't understand why she would want to be a doctor, and not only treat the ill, but touch them. Her brother, Preston, has been jealous of her all his life, hates her, and even as a child tried more than once to kill her, which no one in the family saw or even believes. Frank Parrish, a quiet man who served in Jerusalem with Preston and lost his arm in a battle, comes to Seattle and through a chance meeting with Preston on the street, is invited to Benedict Hall, where he meets the rest of the family, and is befriended by Dickson, the Patriarch. And, of course, falls in love with Margot. Benedict Hall shows us the upheavals this highly thought-of and prestigious family goes through as they come to grips with Preston and his psychosis, and a strong-willed Margot who wants more than anything and against all odds, to become a surgeon. While there is a romance that builds, I would hesitate to call this a Romance novel. It is a history of Seattle and the times, a history of how women, servants, and blacks were thought of and treated.  I look forward to getting and reading the next books in this series. My only concern is that I will read them faster than Cate. Campbell will write them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very hard to follow and get into, still trying
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started out a little slow but quickly moved on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago