Book Review: The Summerset Abby Trilogy by T.J Brown

Book One: Summerset Abbey

Get ready to enter a world similar to Downton Abbey. It is full of British accents, family mansions, changing of the times and deep family secrets. This novel takes place in 1913 and is about three “sisters”. I say“Sisters” because though they were all raised as sisters, one of them has a mysterious secret about her birth and who her real father is. 

The three girls: Rowena, Victoria and Prudence are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle at Summerset Abbey after their Father passes. These girls were raised in an unconventional, more liberal household where Summerset Abbey is drenched in strict traditions. They never even had a coming out ball (appalling I know!). They now have to grow accustomed to the change in rules, decorum and status that accompanies life at Summerset Abbey. It is a period drama filled with tradegy, mystery, romance and finding living in a rapidly changing world (in terms of technology, social idea, and political tensions).

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Book Two: A Bloom in Winter

Rowena has gotten into a bit of a mess. She is feeling the guilt about Prudence's current status and on top of that dealing with men, which as we know is oh so complicated when you live in 1914 and have a rich family. You cannot just marry anyone, like an airplane pilot...but another, one can say, more suitable man is also stepping into the spotlight.

Victoria, the middle child, the one who likes the unconventional things like women's suffrage. Women voting, how scandalous, why would a woman need to have an opinion when she has a husband, and what kind of husband would want a woman with an opinion. Victoria is getting further involved in the 1914 Suffrage Movement...will this be a good thing or a bad thing?

Prudence has had quite the shock of her life. Going from a life of privilege to one of a ladies maid to her sister and the truth about her parentage is enough to make you despise the wealthy. She may have made a mistake when she took the opportunity to leave Summerset Abbey.

I really enjoyed the second book, I am in love with these characters and I find myself feeling many emotions when they make decisions, some of which I do not agree with.

Do you ever shout NO! at a book character when they make the 'wrong' decision?

Book Three: Spring Awakening

Well on the outside Rowena has done right by society, she living at home and is engaged to a proper man. On the inside she is not so proper and has even gone as far as to fly a plane, multiple times and score herself a job. My my, times are changing here as war has broken out on the continent.

Victoria is the epitome of London society defiance. She is heavily involved in the Suffrage movement and even moves out on her own. However her thoughts on marriage and love change when she sees first hand the suffering and sacrifice on the battlefields in France.

Dear Prudence is adjusting to life as a wife and homemaker in a lower-end London suburb, which is quite different from her previous life. She learns mundane tasks like cooking and doing the laundry and still deals with the tense relationship she has with the women she once called her sisters. Her husband enlists in the war, pushing Prudence further out of her comfort zone than ever before.

I wish the series did not end. I loved it and I love the characters. I may not have always been happy with what happened but in the end I am satisfied with how things turned out and I recommend this series. It is hard to put down once you get started!

 Happy Reading!