Friday, March 1, 2013

{Review} Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown

Summerset Abbey
Series: Summerset Abbey #1
Author: T.J. Brown
Release Date, January 15, 2013
by, Gallery Books
Source: *a copy was provided through Netgalley by the author*
Pages: 288
1913: In a sprawling manor on the outskirts of London, three young women seek to fulfill their destinies and desires amidst the unspoken rules of society in this stunning series starter that fans of Downton Abbey will love.  

Rowena Buxton-
Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under their uncle’s guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey. Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the “underclass” in this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive social circle of aristocratic “rebels,” Rowena must decide where her true passions—and loyalties—lie.

Victoria Buxton  

Frail in body but filled with an audacious spirit, Victoria secretly dreams of attending university to become a botanist like her father. But this most unladylike wish is not her only secret—Victoria has stumbled upon a family scandal that, if revealed, has the potential to change lives forever...

Prudence Tate  

Prudence was lovingly brought up alongside Victoria and Rowena, and their bond is as strong as blood. But by birth she is a governess’s daughter, and to the lord of Summerset Abbey, that makes her a commoner who must take her true place in society—as lady’s maid to her beloved “sisters.” But Pru doesn’t belong in the downstairs world of the household staff any more than she belongs upstairs with the Buxton girls. And when a young lord catches her eye, she begins to wonder if she’ll ever truly carve out a place for herself at Summerset Abbey.{Goodreads}
  So this is another one that I don't understand all the low ratings. I will admit that it starts off rather slow and at times I was confused and had to re-read but once it got into its own rhythm I was enjoying it! It isn't anything paranormal or in today's age. It is set back in the early 1900s and when it was unladylike to go to the university. When the rich ruled and the poor worked for them in the household. Frills, parties, manners, marrying into class and all that was in style. Where you were born into the work and there was no way out. Despite all those bad parts of the days I love that time. It wasn't all bad. There is just something so elegant and proper that draws me into that time. And then of course we are in the outskirts of London throughout the book.

  I loved the writing of Mrs Browning. Again at first it took some getting used to and getting INto but it worked. She seemed to catch each girls emotions and turmoils really well. You felt compassion, sorrow, anger and love for them all. More anger towards Rowena but well get to the characters in a bit. Browning did a fantastic job with capturing the year too. I felt as I was in 1913. The scenery was drawn vividly. The social turmoil was laid down and explained well. I really enjoyed it. Not only that but what she delivers isn't a happy ending. That may sound terrible but sometimes I like my books to have that stone cold truth.

  The characters were also real and true and honest well....except for Rowena. I hated Rowena. She was fake and allowed herd to be pushed around. She wasn't honest. She wasn't real and she didn't stand up for what she thought was right. She annoyed the absolute shit out off and I hated her. She was worse than her aunt and uncle. Now the other two, Victoria and Prudence were awesome characters. Victoria was the most delicate in everyone's eyes but in actuality she was the most strong. She was the most true and right and honest. She was a lovely character and I absolutely adored her!! I really wanted her and her man to go into more romantic levels but they stayed friends and I ended up really liking that. It was right. Prudence was probably the most delicate. She was wounded easily because of her history. She was the daughter of a governess but because she grew up in the home of Mr Buxton she was sort of saved from her title. Me Buxton treated her as his own daughter instead of a governess' daughter. So when he died and they all moved to Mr. Buxton's bothered her whole life changed. She was a ladies maid to Rowena and Victoria. She was no longer an equal and it was a tough transition and she handled it well. She stayed strong and did what she was told.

  I came to like Rowena when she was with her guy. That was the only time I truly liked her when I could accept her and enjoy her character. She honestly meant no harm she just fell under the influence of class and pleasing people. She was also in a tough place. Of course, Victoria being my favorite, I enjoyed her all the time. And I enjoyed Prudence most of the time as well. I liked Victoria and Rowena's cousins and their friends. They were nice side characters. Then of course I fell in love with all the love interests ;P

  This wasn't just a tale of a tougher age and the struggles of three different girls, one more different than the others. It had a mystery to solve. Who WAS Prudence truly? Why was she disrespected so bad? It wasn't just because of her mother was a governess....there was a secret ran deeper than all was let on. Well written and a good tale of the past I really liked Summerset Abbey. I'm looking forward to the next book and anything else by Mrs Browning. Again, this book has a lot of negative reviews when I started and I was surprised. There were some positive ones but I wasn't expecting that many negative ones. Advice: don't listen. Try it out for yourself. People now are rating a hell of a lot better than they were before. I believe it has 4 stars on goodreads??

  Now I think you should give it a try because you may just find you didn't read the right book to start off with and this one is. It may start a new trend in your book readings it may not. Bottom line...try it. I really liked it and can't agree with those negative reviews. Oh and you Downton Abbey!!!! It's good! If you like true If you like older!!! People... Just read ;D

3.5 of 5 stars!!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a great day!! :D

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