A Bloom in Winter by T.J. Brown (Summerset Abbey Series: Book Two)

Part two of the Summerset Abbey Trilogy finds the three women, Prudence, Victoria and Rowena in very different stages of their lives. One is married, one becomes engaged and one is jailed. A Bloom in Winter continues the story of the Buxton clan in the early 1900’s London, England. Each of the women has a secret. Each suffer loss as they mature and lose their innocence. T.J. Brown has allowed this to become a little romantic without it turning into the “damsel in distresshistorical romance. Although love is found in the novel it is also lost. The marriage of convenience turns into a real marriage of love and respect. The one engaged to cover her love of another end up staying engaged. The one jailed learns than she has been much too trusting and innocent at the hands of those she wished to emulate. Many changes took place for all of the Buxton clan as the Lord and Lady Buxton admit to mistakes and strive to make changes in the ‘modern’ world in which the women live.

I enjoyed all the action and changes in the lives of these women, even if I was cheering for other relationships to work. I would like to see more development of cousin Elaine. Perhaps she will learn from her cousins’ examples and become a more mature modern woman as well. Perhaps she will even find some romance in her life or maybe just a purpose. T.J. Brown also includes more information of the suffragette movements in London and their activities, legal and otherwise. The only drawback of this book? It ended much to quickly and I am ready for number three!!!

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Summerset Abbey by T. J. Brown (Book 1)

Summerset Abbey is a turn of the century historical novel set in England. I won’t say it is a historical romance novel even though there are undertones of romance throughout this story.

Three young women are rocked by the death of a loved one, forced to leave the home and lifestyle in which they have grown up and betrayed by their own family. Victoria, Prudence and Rowena must face new challenges and heartache as they discover themselves and solve the mystery surrounding Prudence’s true identity.

First, I love historical novels. There, I said it. However, I do not like all that I have read. Most are focused on the damsel in distress to be saved by the rakish lord of the manor. Summerset Abbey is not that kind of a novel. T. J. Brown was able to turn the three young women, who had lived the life of privilege without most of the social norms, to turn into stronger, independent women of the era. She mentions suffrage and the New Woman, two key terms in this period of history, and the move from automobiles to aeroplanes. She also brings into play the limitations on families in each socio-economic level and the disparity between the classes that still existed during the period. Issues as mundane as smoking and drinking, as females were not supposed to smoke at all and only drink small quantities of certain liquors, are integrated without much effort.

Great touches. I am looking forward to reading more about the women in book two.