Saturday, October 12, 2013

September Book Club: While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax

 Samantha Davis was saved from poverty and disgrace when Jonathan married her after her father all but destroyed the business he had owned with Jonathan's father. Now she finds herself filled with gratitude, but is that enough to keep their marriage going? And now her younger siblings have crossed the line in taking advantage of Jonathan's good will leaving her with no choice but to finally put her foot down.
Claire Walker has spent her life defined by being a single mother to her daughter Hailey. Now Hailey is off at college and Claire has a year to write her next book. The problem is, she can't put two words together on the page. As her money goes faster than she anticipated and her agent starts to question her commitment, Claire gets more worried and more blocked. Can she break free before it's too late?
Brooke MacKenzie finds herself suddenly alone with two young girls. She's having a hard enough time balancing everything on her own and it doesn't help when her ex-husband keeps blowing off his responsibilities. But when he moves into the building with his new girlfriend, it definitely isn't any better. How can she do the best thing by her girls when she's struggling just to make it through the day?
Edward Parker owns the Alexander, a renovated apartment building in the middle of Atlanta, and runs Private Butler, a company designed to meet its clients needs in a proper British fashion. He wants to keep the memory of his father alive and do right by his own personal standards. But when someone sweeps it all out from under his feet will he be able to recover?
These four vastly different people all live in the Alexander, but it isn't until Edward starts hosting weekly viewings of the first two seasons of Downton Abbey that they find themselves drawn together - first by their growing love for the period drama, but then by their growing friendship. But are they willing to really open up with each other and find the support they all need?

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What we thought:

Rebecca T: I was intrigued by this ever since I saw it because I'm an avid Downton Abbey watcher myself. I was expecting a fairly fluffy read, but I found something so much more. I absolutely fell in love with each of the characters. Although it's actually nothing like Downton Abbey (a fact I appreciated) it somehow has the same sort of feel. I think it's because of the way that the four main characters' lives intertwine with each other but also develop their own distinct story lines as well. I loved the organic way that the friendship developed between the three women and how they grew to rely on each other. I also really enjoyed the way the secondary characters came to life, especially the other members of the screening parties. A lovely book I look forward to reading again.
Jenn N: I really enjoyed this book. I was pleasantly surprised by the richness of it. When I first heard the title, I thought it was just a gimmick to ride the wave of success that Downton is having. However, that's not the case at all. The way the different characters came to the screenings and ultimately became friends seemed very natural and not forced. With most novels you always find one favorite character, but I loved these 3 ladies and Edward. I rooted for all of them to succeed. The characters' growth throughout the novel was also realistic. I especially liked Claire's commentary on the publishing industry. I wish I could've crashed one of the screening parties! They had great snacks and drinks.
For October we are reading Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed. Join us for scandals and surprises in the early 1900s.

1 comment:

Wendy Wax said...

So glad you enjoyed WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY and greatly appreciate you sharing with others! Now if January 5 would just hurry up and get here! : )