Monday, 19 June 2017

Book Review - While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #65

Amazon UK
Title: While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Author: Wendy Wax
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 9th May 2013 
Rating: 4 Stars

Four friends, and a shared passion for Downton Abbey that will change their lives.

When the concierge of a historic Atlanta apartment building invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and - even more unexpectedly - with each other...

Samantha married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money - for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.

Claire is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.

And then there's Brooke, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She's just starting to realise that it's time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.

For Samantha, Claire, Brooke - and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings - it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life's hardest moments-all of it reflected in their shared love of Downton Abbey.

After a slightly slow start, and once I got a feel for the characters, I started to really enjoy this book. In fact as the story progressed I became more and more involved with it, and was curious as to just how all the characters would end up at the end. 

The book is about three women who all live in the same building but probably wouldn't become friends if it wasn't for Edward the building's concierge, how has decided to start doing screenings in a communal room of the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, ahead of the third season starting in the States. 

It is through the screenings and mutual love of Downton that the friendship between Samantha, Claire and Brooke flourishes, and Edward plays a key role too in the story. 

Samantha married young and has always been grateful to her husband for helping her raise her younger brother and sister after the death of her parents. However appearances in their marriage can be deceiving.

Claire is a published author of 2 historical romance,s and has moved into the building to embark on a grand year of writing. I think that just about any author reading this would identify with Claire and her brilliant ability to procrastinate! 

Brooke is a single mother to two young children, has a dog, and her ex-husband isn't that pleasant. She is a character that I could identify with the most as she just felt the most real to me, whereas our introduction to Samantha felt like a bit of a fairy story. 

If you have watched the first couple of series of Downton Abbey then when the ladies are discussing the episodes I think you will smile and nod in recognition, or wish you could join in the discussions. As someone that has never watched an episode, I just let those bits wash over my head, as they didn't really mean much to me. 

I loved the various friendships the ladies struck up, and how Samantha tried to deal with her siblings. There is a  fledgling romantic interest for Brooke which I liked seeing how it may develop, and also the web of lies Claire was trying to construct around her, so that her writer' block wasn't evident. 

This is an enjoyable story, but one I may have enjoyed a lot more had I watched the TV programme that links the characters together! 

Thank you to everyone that voted for While We Were Watching Downton Abbey, I'm sure most of the time it was due to the mention of Downton Abbey, in which case you would gain a lot more than I did from sections of the book. I am already looking forward to seeing what will win this week. 

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