Summerset Abbey: Book One

Summerset Abbey - T.J. Brown While I don't read many historical novels, books like this make me wonder why. I was so wrapped up in the characters and the story. I loved being in this time period and experiencing how different that life is with them. This book is full of mystery, scandal, romance, and intrigue! We get to experience this all through different POV's and I loved how we get to see the story from all angles. It really made it a very pleasurable reading experience. And the mystery was truly a mystery. I thought I had it all figured out and I was actually wrong! *gasp* That almost never happens to me. I guess I should have seen the signs, but being the fantastic book it was, it had me so wrapped up in things that I went off in the wrong directions and didn't see that ending coming at all!I usually go into the main character at this point in a review, but I will just tell you about how different each of the girls were. They start off so close, like sisters, but then as time goes on they start to grow apart, keep secrets, and to a point resent each other. Victoria was my favorite. She is naive, but I loved her for it. She really believes that she can do good and doesn't think about the bigger outcome of everything. I loved her spunk and determination. She is much stronger than she seems. She won't let her medical troubles be a setback for her. Then there's Rowena, who wants to be more outspoken like Victoria. She really has a hard time with it, but she does the best she can inside her shut down mind. She is in a dark place through this and even though you want to dislike her at times, you really do feel for her. Without getting her perspective she would have easily been a character you despise. Prudence is a great character and this really was centered around her. The secrets and scandal all come back to her and her family. I liked being in her head. It seems like she just accepts being a servant, but in reality she does anything but. As the story progresses she really comes into her own and I was cheering her on the whole way.This is a time period where women don't really have rights. In a family like the Buxton's the women are expected to be well bred, proper, and marry into another wealthy family. Classes don't mix and it's unacceptable. The only way that Prudence was able to go to Summerset with Rowena and Victoria was as their Ladies Maid. She has always been treated as their equal so it is quite a shock for her. I loved getting to experience the lifestyle of the different classes and get to know so many different characters. I thought the writing was beautiful and the story was engaging. I think I am definitely a fan of historical fiction if they can all be like this. I am looking forward to continuing this series!!