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Summerset Abbey

(Summerset Abbey #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  2,218 ratings  ·  335 reviews
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 and the distant rumblings of war. . . .

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
Paperback, Original, 288 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.54  · 
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 ·  2,218 ratings  ·  335 reviews

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Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who are obsessed with Downton Abbey and don't mind a slightly less appealing version

Recently, I had someone ask me to explain the t.v. show Downton Abbey to them and the closest explanation that I could find is that it's like an older version of a soap opera, without the demon possessions and twins being born with two different fathers.

Since Summerset Abbey is sort of like a book version of Downton in print form, then I guess I'd have to use the same explanation for this review. I mean, you can't really call Summerset a historical romance because there's too much attention pai
Originally Posted on Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek


Where should I start with “Summerset Abbey?” I’ll start by saying that this is a very depressing book. Which is not surprising, because it is set in a very depressing time in women’s history. This book made me cry. Not because there is a traumatic event like a death. No, I cried, because 100 years ago the lives of Prudence, Victoria and Rowena was life for women all over the world. I cried, because even though it will be 2013 in two
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
As far as vacuous historical fiction goes, this was actually pretty good. In the vein of Downton Abbey (and that's how it has been described by multiple sources), Summerset Abbey is about life in the turn of the century. Unlike DA though, it does not glamorise the aristocracy and actually brings out the dark human cost of the aristocratic way of life. The first of a trilogy, Summerset Abbey is a pretty good attempt at British historical fiction by an American author.

The story centres around thre
Nov 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a tough one to review, and in the end I find I'm agreeing 100% Erin's review and can't add much more except for the mystery of the older Earl/Duke:

On page 43 the girls observe a giant portrait of their grandfather the eighth duke. Yet, their uncle (the son of the old *duke*) is the Earl of Summerset. Late in the book on page #213, the grandfather is "the old earl" and on page #282 he is "the late Earl of Summerset". Note: I have a finished copy from the library and not an ARC.

I did enjo
Nov 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I've wrestled with my feelings on T.J. Brown's Summerset Abbey several times and I think I've finally put my finger on the problem. I desperately wanted to love this book, the time period offers a wealth of material, but that being said, I found the piece much more of a challenge than I'd originally anticipated and didn't end it as satisfied as I'd hoped.

By far my favorite aspect of the book is the o
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
A copy of Summerset Abbey was provided to me by Gallery Books/Edelweiss for review purposes.

The year is 1913 and Sir Philip Buxton has passed leaving his two daughters all alone. Placed into the care of their Uncle until the time they decide to marry, their life becomes upended when they are moved from their home to Summerset Abbey. Victoria and Rowena are also separated from their friend Prudence. Prudence was raised alongside the girls their entire lives and they are a
This is a Downton Abbey-esque Books but even if I tried hard to enjoy it, I must confess I didn't managed to like it.

The idea of the story is interesting, typical from an Edwardian era. But there is a lack of true emotion aan real engagement among the main characters which makes the reader to loose interest into the plot.

I hate when I finish a book and I have to ask the stupid question: and so what??

Probably I won't read any other book by this author. There are better books on this subject.

Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a book I was really looking forward to. Mostly because I love historical novels, but also because I LOVE "Downton Abbey," and this definitely sounded Downton-esque. And thankfully, it totally was!

I think this is a good book for fans of Anna Godbersen - there are similarities in that they're both historical, with multiple POVs, and focus on the lives of catty (or semi-catty) girls with lots of drama in their lives. But I think people who were frustrated with the girls in Anna Godbersen's
I've given this a C+ for narration and a C for content at AudioGals, so I'm leaving it at 3 stars.

Summerset Abbey
seems to have been clearly aimed at the Downton Abbey market, and not just because of the similarity in the names. Summerset is set in 1913, and is the first of a trilogy that follows events in the lives of three young women – sisters Rowena and Victoria Buxton and their informally adopted sister, Prudence Tate.

The story opens with the funeral of Philip Buxton, younger brother of the
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
For all you Downton Abbey fans, this just may be the book for you. Set in great Britain in 1913, Summerset Abbey captures a snapshot in time when one way of life is emerging just as another is fading away. This period is remembered as La Belle Epoque, during the Edwardian era when the privileged are clinging to a lifestyle that puts them at the top of the "caste system," while others are awakening to the issues of suffrage and the extremely hard lives of the poor and unfortunate whose labors ena ...more
The setting is early twentieth century England, where automobiles and airplanes are still in their infancy. Women are still seen as not able to handle their own affairs and a proper young lady aspires only to make a good wife.

Widower, Sir Philip Buxton defied Edwardian principles and raised his two daughters and their orphaned best friend to be independent, strong personalities, encouraging them to think outside of the box. Unfortunately, he becomes ill and passes away, and his older brother, th
Lisa - (Aussie Girl)
Edwardian period romance much in the vein of Downton Abbey. Not a bad read with the division of the English class system a major plot point but it did end quite abruptly making the reading of the next in the series compulsory for anyone interested in following what happens to the four Buxton ladies.

3.5 stars.
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
Diving into SUMMERSET ABBEY feels decadent. Much like the elegant, opulent and scandalous world in which the story takes place. A world that’s caught between the past and the present, one that’s on the verge of modernism but still clings to traditionalism.

A world where entitlement and leisure, lavish parties and arranged marriages contrast with motorcars, aeroplanes, suffragettes and the working class. And where the lords and ladies of the manor continue to embrace their way of life even as the
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
A decent 3-star story with a promising premise sunk by lamentable inaccuracies and blatant grammatical errors. By the time I finished, the most entertaining thing about this book were the gushing publishers' statements that were so far from my own assessments as to be laughable.

When I read the blurb saying the author was making her "historical fiction debut," I assumed this was a blatant attempt to take advantage of Downton Abbey-mania. As I am as afflicted as anyone with DA-mania, I told myself
I think this book is for old ladies because I read it.
I really thought it's about the sun, the ocean and the beach, but it's about really boring old castles.
So it sucks.

(Here you have the review of a friend who's trying to impersonate me without having read the books haha)

I have to admit I've only ever watched a few episodes of Downton Abbey despite the first few series being in family possession and despite me actually being intrigued by it (and especially those wardrobes).
However, I think onc
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Have you ever been in a situation where you were so engrossed in a game of football (or soccer, or baseball..or whatever) and just as your team was about to score when suddenly the t.v goes blank?

Yes, my sentiments exactly! This book has the worst (or simply the best) cliffhanger ending I've ever encountered. Just when the story was about the get really juicy and good, it ends!

I did however enjoyed the story since being a big Downtown Abbey fan this book is tailor made for me. But the pace took
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sisters Victoria and Rowena Buxton were raised by their aristocratic, widowed father during the waning days of the Edwardian Era in England. Spurning the snobbish, class-conscious lifestyle of his family, Philip Buxton sought to raise his daughters to be independent and progressive thinking young ladies. In addition, he treated Prudence, the daughter of his children’s governess, like one of his own daughters. Prudence was regarded as the third Buxton daughter. Upon the sudden death of Philip Bux ...more
Nov 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This was an entertaining read. I liked the way it was written and the characters were likable and well developed. I could see where the story was going about halfway through but it didn't really spoil the story for me, it was good to see it to the end and how it all came out. I was a bit disappointed that Pru didn't fight for what was hers but I can understand why she did what she did.
May 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Okay, so... Had the cover not looked like that of a modern day gas store penny dreadful, perhaps I would have given this an additional star (jk). I might have also done so had the title of this book made more sense as opposed to wanting to catch the eye with the "abbey" in hopes that those in love with Downtown Abbey (like myself) would think it similar. In ways, it is... to the point where it almost feels the written version of the show when it comes to the setting, some of the characters' pers ...more
Originally posted at: Girls on YA Books

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 in
Kelly (Belle of the Literati)
"We detest that kind of showy, excessive waste.
Did you know you could feed one hundred families for a year
on the money spent just on the flowers for one ball?"
--T.J. Brown, Summerset Abbey

Summerset Abbey has that beautiful historical fiction feel that gives me warm fuzzies the entire time I'm reading it. Turn of the century for the most part, aristocracy is on the way out, women are speaking up, old stodgy men with their tumblers are being left speechless due to the "audacity" of the talk of m
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it

Summerset Abbey is the story of 3 young women, Rowena, Prudence and Victoria.
Although Prudence was the daughter of governess, she was raised and treated by Sir Philip like she was one of his daughters.
Sir Philip was an uncommon man for that era, he raised them to be capable and independent women, to speak their mind and to think that everyone is equal.
When Sir Philip dies, nothing could have prepare them to the grieve and to the changes that occur in their life. Until she is 25 years old or mar
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Summerset Abbey is the first of series by T.J. Brown. This is a Gallery Books publication. This book was released in January of 2013.

Set in 1913 London, three girls were raised by an eccentric father. Rowena the oldest, Victoria, and their best friend, Prudence. When their father dies the terms of his will upend the girls lives.
They lose their father, their home and along the way, each other.

The girl's uncle is given control of the their money until they are either married or turn a certain age.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review was originally posted on Ruby's Reads.

When an author begins with a British setting, then adds in an abbey and a young lord, they’ve pretty much guaranteed an audience in me. And, with the success of Downton Abbey, I’ve been in luck. Publishers are on the hunt for read-alikes, and YA imprints are no exception. When I began dipping my toes back in the NetGalley pond, there were two titles I requested right away: Cinders and Sapphires and Summerset Abbey. And when I got declined for Cin
Summerset Abbey Summerset Abbey (Summerset Abbey, #1) by T.J. Brown

Reading this book provided me with an enjoyable experience mid-week, as I waited for the upcoming Sunday episode of Downton Abbey. Set in the years before the onset of WW I, this initial volume of Brown's trilogy introduces us to three lovely young women-Rowena, Victoria and Prudence. They are living a rather unusual life for upper class young women of this era. Their father, a botanist, has sheltered them from the highly structured social life of wealthy debutantes, by allowing
Gayle Pace
available 1-15-2013

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 and the distant rumblings of war. . . .


Rowena Buxton

Three young girls were raised in a bohemian household by Sir Philip Buxton. They grew into beautiful and capable young women, even though the house defied Edwardian tradition. Each one was taught different things. Rowena the oldest, was taught to value people i
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, historical
Summerset Abbey is probably the only book I have been SO divided about.
Did it have attractive guys: YES
Did it have a good/twisting plot: YES
Was it historical: YES
Were all the protagonists likable: HELL NO!

I'm just going to go right ahead and start on ROWENA who has to be the weakest, stupidest, cowardly excuse of a human being ever! You grow up with a girl in a very close, sisterly way, and then you ALLOW her to be ripped away from everything she's ever known without batting an eyelash (okay th
Nov 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Basically, Summerset Abbey revolves around two sisters, Rowena and Victoria Buxton, and their "sister" Prudence Tate who has been brought up right alongside them by Sir Philip. Not a Buxton by birth but the daughter of their late governess, Prudence has had the same privileged but somewhat unconventional lifestyle as Rowena and Victoria and the two sisters think of Prudence as another sister. This all changes after Sir Philip's death.

Forced to move to Summerset Abbey by their uncle, the two girl
nomadreader (Carrie D-L)
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
(originally published at

The backstory: Summerset Abbey is the first in a new young adult Edwardian trilogy.

The basics: When their father dies, Rowena and Victoria Buxton are forced to leave their home and go live with their aunt and uncle. It's a house the girls know well, as they've visited each year. In order to bring Prudence, the daughter of their now deceased governess, whom they think of as a sister, the girls have no choice but to have Prudence come as the
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
There are some books that you do not want to end, where each page comes alive and you are fully immersed in the story (for example Night Circus) and then there are some books where you wish the author would get on with the story. Unfortunately, Summerset Abbey is one of the latter types. The story is interesting (three women living in the time of the old world meeting the new world when it comes to women's rights) enough, but I felt that the author spent more time trying to come up with a plot a ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 20, 2014 11:15AM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 12:39PM  
Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 2 Jul 01, 2014 06:46PM  
Goodreads Librari...: series type 5 36 May 24, 2013 04:13PM  

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