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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  4,159 ratings  ·  546 reviews

Gone with the Wind
meets The Help in the stunning prequel to Leila Meacham's bestselling family epic Roses.

"From birth, Jessica had eschewed the role to which she'd been born. Was it because she sensed that her father's indulgence was compensation for his disappointment in her? Jessica thought too much, questioned, challenged, rebelled. Sometimes E
Hardcover, 610 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing (first published November 5th 2013)
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Anna Smith I finished it in 5 days and I am by no means a quick reader! Historical fiction is my favorite to read and while this does have aspects that remind…moreI finished it in 5 days and I am by no means a quick reader! Historical fiction is my favorite to read and while this does have aspects that remind one of Gone With the Wind I believe that Somerset stands on its own. Definitely worth the read!(less)

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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,159 ratings  ·  546 reviews

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Helene Jeppesen
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful book in many ways, but mostly because it took me by surprise.
“Somerset” is not a book that I would normally fall in love with, and I can clearly see myself hating it if I had read it at a wrong point in time. However, I didn’t! It seems I read it at the perfect time because I was able to oversee the silliness of this book’s characters and their decisions, and I was able to completely fall in love with the story gradually as I got more and more into it.
I still think that Si
Dale Harcombe
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not being a fan of white flowers I picked up and read this book despite its cover of white roses. I enjoyed this novel which tells the story of three families the Tolivers, Warwicks, and DuMonts over a span of years. The time period covers such issues as migration to Texas, slavery and the Underground Railway as well as the Civil War.
Jessica is a spirited woman. Her unconventional views get her into trouble with her father who is a slave owner and sets her life on a course different than she i
Lelia Meacham is my favorite romance/saga writer of these times. She stole my heart in her huge novel some years ago, "Roses," and continued to do so with this continuation of the families in "Somerset." If you love a big and heart-wrenching story with every twist and knife-edged turn of love and'll love this book. It's a stand alone, but if you read "Roses" first, you'll love it even more.

Meacham's characters are so engaging you could just eat them up. Jessica, the main female c
Dana Burda
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Romanul ''Somerset'' de Leila Meacham a apărut la editura Litera în colecția '' Cele mai frumoase romane de dragoste '' în anul 2017, în traducerea lui Oana Celia Ghiorghiu care a asigurat și notele explicative din subsol, extrem de necesare și interesante. Am citit cu foarte multă plăcere acest roman chiar dacă este anterior ca evenimente povestite romanului ''Trandafiri'' care continua actiunea din ''Somerset'' De altfel chiar scriitoarea le-a scris in ordine inversă. Romanul '' Somerset'' est ...more
Dzenana Brkic
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jako mi se svidjela i ova saga spisateljice Leile Meacham. Neki dijelovi su mi bili zbrzani, neki pak usporeni, no to nije pokvarilo ukupan dojam same knjige. I ova i knjiga Ruže su mi bile jako dobre, ali se sjećam da su Ruže ostavile bolji utisak na mene. Možda se to desilo jer nisam znala šta očekivati, a sada jesam.
Prateći Jessicino odrastanje, pratimo i generacije porodica koje se zasnivaju. Njenim umiranjem knjiga završava, a čitatelj zna da će tako i biti. Iako znamo šta će biti na kraju,
Katherine Coble
Try as I might, I can't enjoy a book that calls slaves "servants" in one paragraph and then, just a few paragraphs later, discusses which of the sons of the manor inherited which "servant" upon the death of the plantation owner.

Had the characters been more interesting I might have put up with it. But romanticising slavery and, by extension, antebellum lifestyles is something I don't enjoy.
Ana Dumitrache
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A trecut ceva vreme de când nu am mai citit un roman așa bun. Somerset mi-a întrecut așteptările și sunt bucuroasă că am trecut peste titlu, copertă și alte aspecte nesemnificative și am citit romanul. E o poveste foarte frumoasă, cu o galerie de personaje impresionantă, care te învață multe lecții și care cu siguranță îți rămâne în suflet. Am suferit și m-am bucurat alături de Jessica și Silas și i-am judecat pentru alegerile lor, dar în final i-am înțeles și acceptat. Sunt genul de personaje c ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Overall, I liked this. It was a solid 3 stars for me. But I did the audio on this and that was a mistake on my part. I do NOT recommend the audio. The reader poured on the southern accent. It was a little much. I would have enjoyed this so much more if I had actually turned the pages. One of the main characters was a strong southern female, but the audio reader kept trying to make her into a cheesy damsel in distress. That was so hard to overcome for me. It was a struggle to tune out the voice s ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Pročitala sam prvih 150 stranica i odustala.

"Ruže" i "Nošeni vjetrom" su knjige iste autorice koje obožavam. Toliko sam se veselila ovoj knjizi i onda PAF. To mi se uvijek dogodi, kad se nekoj knjizi jako veselim i puno očekujem dogodi se baš suprotno.

Prvih 150 stranica sadrži toliko opisivanja, na široko i na dugačko se upoznajemo s likovima i njihovim obiteljima. Mislim da je to nepotrebno jer smo se kroz prošli roman "Ruže" upoznali s tradicijom tih obitelji.
Nisam se nikako uživjela u likove
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-author
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. I am so glad that I did. Reminiscent of big sweeping novels such as Gone With the Wind or North and South, covering generations of families. A genre that seems not so often written today. The Toliver and Warwick men come from a lineage of English heritage and wealth. Jeremy Warwick and Silas Toliver leave the family plantations to start their own plantations in the new state of Texas. Silas is coerced into marrying Jessica Wyndham to relieve the Wynd ...more
Jan 23, 2014 marked it as could-not-finish
After reading Somerset half way through I came to the conclusion that I just didn't care what happens to these characters. The family sage didn't evoke any emotions in me. I didn't HAVE to see how this plays out because the characters didn't have that emotional pull. The story was some what engaging but I found it choppy and full of uninteresting details. I wanted more hardship working the farm or setting up life in Texas but once they got there time began to skim 5 or so years per chapter.

Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Classic historical fiction set in the south. This covers it all - wagon trains, plantations, cotton, civil war - I loved every page.
Laura P
An epic family saga
A prequel to Leila Meacham’s ‘Roses’……
’Somerset’ tells the story of three generations of Tolivers, Warwicks and DuMonts as they first move to Texas and begin to build their respective empires and establish the town of Howbutker, TX. It covers six decades beginning with Silas and Jessica Toliver, Jeremy Warwick and Henri DuMont as they travel west to Texas, then follows with 2 generations of their offspring.

Though some complain it is too long, I enjoyed the extensive charact
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Changing my rating from 4 to 5 stars only because I still am thinking about Jessica. If I find I'm missing a character in a book I liked I think it deserves 5 stars!
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Silas Toliver is a second son in the South during the pre-Civil war years. As such, he has inherited nothing from his father’s plantation holdings, and, to put it mildly, Silas is ‘land-hungry’. He wants to run a plantation and build it up, and seems to have the talents and gifts, but no means, to do it. Right off the bat Meacham has created a character whose frustration impels him to take action, and his guilt and justification of that pursuit haunt him for much of the duration of the novel.

Jul 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Somerset gives the backstory and establishment of the founding families of Howbutker, Texas, whose descendants we’ve already met in “Roses.” It’s rare to have epics like this written nowadays. Fascinating to watch characters age and die, surrounded by major events in this country’s history, but sadly I was never able to feel close to any of them. I felt that by the end, the characters remaining were not as interesting as the ones at the beginning; I was more interested in the start, in the journ ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am so sad to be done with this book .I wanted to continue with this beautiful family saga .Leila Meacham is a superb writter .I really felt so many emotions I cried I laughed and just plan could not wait to pick it back up again .
I have a signed copy coming from texas from my mother she had the great fortune to meet ms meacham on 2/15 at a bookstore in houston area.I can truly see movie coming with roses and somerset.
I picked up roses when borders was closing just browsing thru books and the b
RoseMary Achey
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Somerset follows the life of a Charleston woman as she marries, relocates to East Texas and establishes a cotton plantation with her husband in the early 19th century. Historical fiction and romance would best describe this novel. Covering over 75 years and three generations I found the writing somewhat predictable and not incredibly imaginative.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, but just couldn’t. The writing was incompetent with predictable plots and an attempt to throw in bits of historical fact here and there.
Iustina Dinulescu
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Imi plac foarte mult romanele de tip saga - poveștile mai multor generații, modul în care secretele si greselile unora ii afectează pe urmatorii, trecerea prin mai multe perioade de timp si posibilitatea de a trai acele timpuri alaturi de personaje.
Am ramas placut impresionata de Somerset si de stilul autoarei (nu am citit Trandafiri, urmează). Mi-a plăcut complexitatea romanului, perioada aleasă si mai ales personajul feminin principal - Jessica. Povestea se intinde pe 65 de ani si cuprinde pe
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Geweldige historische fictie, wat de vroege geschiedenis van de Tolivers en de andere gezinnen die het plaatsje Howbutker hebben opgezet, omschrijft. Somerset is het eerste deel van deze tweedelige serie, maar het boek Roses (Rozen) is 4 jaar eerder uitgekomen en ook eerder geschreven. Ik heb het dan ook in deze volgorde gelezen (Roses-Somerset), want denk ik verrassender is!
Krystal DeMoss
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I first started this book, I doubted that I would make it all the way through. It seemed a typical antebellum historical novel with the same stock characters. Particularly annoying is the stereotype that any white woman who would fight against slavery would HAVE to be a mannish spinster. Then I got to Part 2 and I was hooked.

The blurb on the back of "Somerset" compares it to "Gone With The Wind". (It's also compared to
"The Help" which is ridiculous for many reasons.) While both "Somerset"
Christy Ryan
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it
If this book would have ended about pg 400 I think it would have been a 5 star. I really enjoyed it and I felt closure at that point. The last 200 pages just dragged on and on and I was so done by then. That being said, I still love this author and the way she tells a story...and of course love a book set in Texas!
Sharon Chance
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing

If you are a historical fiction fan, and a fan of family sagas - then "Somerset" is the book for you! Documenting three families who move from South Carolina to Texas before Texas became a state, author Leila Meacham spins a tale (well, several tales) that brings to life the drama and struggles that pioneer Texas families endured as they begin their lives in the rough, raw East Texas piney woods.

"Somerset" is actually a prequel to Meacham's bestselling book, "Roses," and both books tie together
Lisa B.
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it

My Thoughts

If you want to lose yourself in a good family saga, this is the book to do it with! The story covers three generations and numerous historical occurrences that happens during the ocer years of three families that move west to settle in Texas. From a character perspective, Somerest has it covered - characters to love, hate, cheer for and want to smack.

I was initially a bit intimidated by the 600+ size of Somerest, but the story was well paced and held my interest.

Many thanks to
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am crazy to start this book at this point in my life, but oh well. :)

Finished this and it was a great "escape" book. It is the prequel to Roses and tells how the Toliver family ended up in Texas. It was a good book all about family drama and the drama of the late 1800s and early 1900s in Texas. Not a life changing book, but a good one just to enjoy reading without having to think.
Amra Isović
Knjiga koja zahtijeva pažljivo čitanje, pamćenje i shvaćanje.Svakako je ne bih svrstala u klasične sage ili romanse, ovo je jako dobra historijska fikcija. Knjiga za koju mi je drago što se našla na mojoj listici :-) želja. Knjiga koja vas neće ostaviti ravnodušnim ni za tren.
Monique Muylaert
Zeer mooi boek, een aanrader voor wie graag romantiek leest.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable light read
Naia Pard
Am ajuns cu cartea asta la noi limite de inepție. Mi-a luat aproape un secol sa ajung până la final, iar deja de la jumătatea cărții credeam că o să trebuiască să părăsesc barca inainte să ajung la mal. Cartea e groasă cât o Biblie, de aceea măcar o pot folosi ca ceva armă albă, că altfel nu îşi are vreun scop.
Totul se petrece înaintea războiului de secesiune, războiul civil din State purtat (ca scop principial) penru abolirea sclaviei. Nu aş fi ştiut aproape nimic despre acel eveniment dacă nu
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Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Other books in the series

Roses (2 books)
  • Roses
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