Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review: Hall of Secrets by Cate Campbell

Title: Hall of Secrets
Author: Cate Campbell
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: September 2, 2014
Source: Netgalley

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

From "For generations, the Benedicts have been one of Seattle's most distinguished families, residing in the splendid Queen Anne mansion known as Benedict Hall amid a host of loyal servants. But the dawn of the 1920s and the aftermath of the Great War have brought dramatic social conflict. Never has this been more apparent than when daughter Margot's thoroughly modern young cousin, Allison, comes to stay.

But Margot is also shocking many of Seattle's genteel citizens, and her engineer beau, by advocating birth control in her medical practice. For amid a tangle of blackmail, manipulation, and old enmities, the Benedicts stand to lose more than money--they may forfeit the very position and reputation that is their only tether to a rapidly changing world."

My Two Cents:

"Hall of Secrets" takes place in 1920s Seattle and follows two cousins: Allison and Margot. Allison is young and is just trying to find her place in the world. She has a terrible mother who seems bent on making Allison feel bad about herself. Margot is a little older but much more self-assured. She's a doctor and wants to start one of the first women's health centers under the tutelage of Margaret Sanger. There are tons of family secrets in this book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and putting together all of the pieces.

I really liked reading about Allison and Margot and how they change throughout the book, especially Allison. When she is first sent to Seattle because she is rebelling against her parents, she is totally lost. She feels like she's being banished even though her home life back in San Francisco wasn't all that great. Her mother is obsessed with her looks and makes Allison feel like she must obsess as well, which causes Allison's downward spiral. I loved Margot because she is so far ahead of her time and so smart. She figures out what is wrong with Allison even before Allison really knows.

I liked the historical aspects of this book. Campbell really added a lot of detail to make Allison and Margot's worlds feel really real. The Boeing family makes an appearance. The book also includes a lot of detail about what was happening with the women's movement at the time, which I absolutely love reading about!

I have always been fascinated by the 1920s and so I was very excited to pick up this book from Netgalley. The 1920s really changed the game for so many people, especially women. I also love reading about Seattle. I've never been but it's definitely on my To-Travel list so I thought I could do a little armchair traveling since I can't really go. Campbell does a great job of really bringing this time and place to life.

Historical fiction fans will eat this up!



  1. I like that period myself. Just finished a book with a 1910 setting. Such a lot of radical change also took place during this era.

  2. I read the first one in this series and can't wait to get my hands on this one. Great review!



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