printed copy

Hall Of Secrets: A Benedict Hall Novel

Cate Campbell

ISBN 9780758292285
Publish Date 1/28/2014
Format Trade Paperback
Categories Kensington, Historical
List Price: $15.00

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In Cate Campbell's sumptuously detailed, page-turning series set in 1920s Seattle, the once-secure lifestyle of the wealthy Benedict family--and their household staff--must contend with the radical, roaring Jazz Age. . .

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.

Praise For Benedict Hall

"Entertaining, with a well-drawn backdrop." --RT Book Reviews

"Recommended for fans of Downton Abbey, this story is full of drama and is plenty enjoyable, especially because of the time period...great characters with warm chemistry the reader will want to see together." --Parkersburg News & Sentinel

Discussion Questions

1. Fashions for women changed more rapidly in the 1920s than at any earlier time. Do you think the narrower silhouette of women’s clothes was responsible for the increase of eating disorders in the twentieth century, or do you think such disorders already existed? Were you surprised that Margot had difficulty finding research to aid in her diagnosis of Allison’s condition?

2. Allison Benedict is a young woman coming of age in a time of great social change. What role models did she have as she struggled to be her own person? How was her experience different from that of the English girls she met on Berengaria?

3. Women’s fashions in the 1920s—free of corsets or hobbling long skirts—symbolized new freedoms for women, but they also dictated a certain body style, which was the genesis of the first diet fads. Did the new style create a new form of restriction for women?

4. Does Edith Benedict’s reaction to her son’s terrible injuries seem the healthy response of a mother’s unconditional love, or is it more evidence of her emotional disturbance?

5. Hattie, in accepting Allison’s confidences, hints at her personal secrets without revealing them. What do you think holds her back?

6. Secrets are at the heart of Hall of Secrets. Preston uses them as weapons. How do the other characters use them? How does Edith surprise her son and the rest of her family when she learns his secrets?

7. Margaret Sanger is a controversial figure in history, a woman who championed the rights of women to have control over their lives and their bodies, but who also had strong opinions about whose families should be limited. She met strong opposition not only from the Church but from the American Medical Association. Do you think, on the whole, Mrs. Sanger had a beneficial influence on society?

8. Is Allison Benedict as much a victim of the rigid social distinctions of the time as Hattie? Do you think, without Margot’s example and encouragement, she would be able to break out of her preordained role?

9. The period of the 1920s fascinates later generations. We seem to be compelled by the fashions, the music, Prohibition, even the impending Great Depression. Why do you think this period of our history holds such lasting interest?

10. Are there aspects of society in the 1920s you find appealing? Are there others that offend you?

About Cate Campbell:

Cate Campbell is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest.  She has worked in more jobs than she can count–as a teacher, an office nurse, a waitress, a nanny, a secretary, a saleswoman, and a singer. The great mansions of Seattle, many built around the turn of the 20th century, along with her lifelong fascination with medicine, history, Seattle, and the stunning cultural and social changes that marked the decade of the 1920s are her inspirations for Benedict Hall.  The career of her father, a dedicated physician and a war veteran, served as a model for both Margot Benedict and Frank Parrish. 

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