2013 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge hosted by Historical Tapestry.
Summerset Abbey (Summerset Abbey #1) by T.J. Brown
*Proof e-copy received through NetGalley.
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.
This is a historical fiction and the author did a great research, but as she herself admitted, there were times when the plot was more important. But it didn't really bother me, because otherwise it was a really enjoyable and fun read.
The strongest aspect of this book are the characters, especially the three main ones, and their interactions with each other. I love how Rowena, Victoria, and Prudence are all very intelligent, well read, and kind-hearted young women, but they are also quite flawed. Rowena is a bit of a passive coward who doesn't like conflicts. Victoria is very passionate which sometimes makes her act in a hurry without thinking things through first. And Prudence is quite stubborn and proud. But despite all of this, I really liked them all, probably because often I could understand why they did what they did.
These three young women find themselves in an undesirable situation and instead of dealing with it together, they all try it by themselves. And that of course leads to loads of interesting situations.
The story itself is at times predictable, but there are some unexpected twists as well.
As the synopsis says, Downton Abbey fans will enjoy this. It is an easy and fun read with very believable characters.