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Publisher's Summary

Davenport House is the first book in a family saga following the wealthy Davenports and their servants in 1915 America.

Mary Davenport is a 22-year-old idealist who worries that the world in the Progressive Era is leaving her behind. She lives isolated in the Pennsylvania countryside with her affluent and secretive family. When her father dies suddenly, Mary becomes pained with grief and increasingly suspicious of those around her.

A humble servant girl has the chance of a lifetime to become a lady's companion. Costly dresses, exquisite rooms, and fine dinners are pleasant distractions from what is really happening in the house.

©2016 Marie Silk (P)2017 Marie Silk

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pleasant period drama/mystery

Any additional comments?

This is an easy to listen to, uncomplicated period drama/mystery. Although this book is a part of a series, it is enjoyable on its own. All the characters from the maids to the disagreeable mother are realistic and the plot is plausible. I can imagine the following books will expand on the mystery and romance that links all the characters.
The narrator is pleasant to listen to and I enjoyed the voices she gave to each character.
I have never read or listen to a book by this author or narrator. I would definitely listen to the remaining books in this series and consider other books by this author or narrator.
This book gave me the feeling I was listening to a story about a neighbour of Downton Abbey.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Period Drama

Mary Davenport is a sheltered young woman living in a small Pennsylvania town in 1915. Her family owns a large estate, and her father is one of her closest friends. One day, her father summons her to the library to tell her that things around the estate will be changing. Mary notices her father is very ill and becomes concerned.

Mary's maid Clara has lived at Davenport House all her life. Clara dreams of a life greater than what she has, and her work and a secret engagement aren't enough to satisfy her. When her mother gives her a beautiful gown and tells her that she's been elevated to a new position in the house, Clara thinks that her dreams are finally coming true. But Mr. Davenport passes away before Clara learns about her new position, and the household descends into chaos when foul play is suspected.

This was a clean period drama that could be read as a standalone. The plot was similar to a Gothic romance. The writing was simple and straightforward. The mystery was easily solved, but I enjoyed the journey. I thought Mary was likable and was really worried for her well-being a time or two! She matured a lot through the book and I'm curious to read the rest of the series to see what's in store for the family.

The narration was really well done, Allyson Voller has the perfect voice to portray Mary and Clara. Her voice is pleasant and immersed me in the story. I received a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to listen to...

What would have made Davenport House better?

I only got a few chapters into this book before I gave up listening to it. As other reviewers stated, the story is so stilted it was quickly frustrating.

Would you ever listen to anything by Marie Silk again?

Doubtful

How did the narrator detract from the book?

She has a pleasant voice and may be better with a different book. I had to stop listening because of all the "said Mary", "said Mrs. Davenport" etc. I found this very annoying..

Any additional comments?

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

not the story for me I guess

I had a hard time staying intrigued in this story. I did stick it out to the end, but the story just lagged here and there and Mary was just a lost cause I think...I don't know it just didn't do it for me.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Said that!!! Over and over and over and...

Really only could take less than five chapters. The narrator has to be very inexperienced and will likely improve, but I won't be willing to even try her again. She needs more coaching!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Poor writing, worse narration

There was a decent story, struggling to get out, but it never quite made it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Period Piece - Early 1900's America

Summary: Mary Davenport deals with the death of her father and a slew of intrigue within her own house.

Additional Comments:
- The dialogue is very, very, very formal. That comes across as stiff. I experienced the audiobook, so it didn’t bother me as much. But hearing it might actually turn some people off more.
- The plot’s decent.
- The saga vaguely reminds me of Downton Abbey.
- Some characters really came across as annoying. They’re either pure evil (selfish manipulative louses or drunken, useless heaps of humanity, etc) or pure good (selfless, kind, compassionate people walking around with an unseen halo over their heads). I think the most neutral one was the jealous servant.
- End twist was cool. Unrealistic but cool.
- Content warnings: none
- It never comes up how the Davenports are rich. What kind of business does Mr. Davenport do?
- Mary is a character one can root for.

Conclusion: If historical fiction is your thing, this is a decent series to start.

*I received a free copy of the audiobook. I chose to review it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Historic Cozy Mystery

Any additional comments?

This is a cozy mystery with no explicit violence or sex It is the first in a series and but stands alone. Reminiscent of Upstairs/Downstairs and Downton Abbey. Romance, family secrets, changes in household roles, twists and turns. Very enjoyable, I look forward to listening to the rest of the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather
  • ABERDEEN, MD, United States
  • 02-03-18

Can’t wait ...

Can’t wait to listen to the rest of the series!! Really nice piece of historical fiction. Nice narration too.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Larry
  • chenoa, il, United States
  • 01-31-18

A great story from history of family!

I really enjoyed this book. The characters are loveable, well most! MY favorite part was near the end when the will is decided....... I'm not going tooo hesitate starting book 2 now!