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5.0 out of 5 starsshe is a keeper
Reviewed in Canada on July 30, 2016
love this author her ability to portray the bonds of friendship warm my heart
4.0 out of 5 starsPerfect chick-lit book for the Downton Abbey fan
Reviewed in Canada on September 6, 2013
I really enjoyed this book! While it does not have the wit and wisdom of Downtown Abbey, I couldn't put it down. I read it on my iPad using the Kindle app and the formatting was great. Really enjoyed the three characters, Samantha and Brooke more so than Claire, and the plot line. A great easy, breezy read which you will enjoy!
If you are looking for Pulitzer Prize winning literature this is not for you. What it is is a warm & engaging story about women's friendship.
Samantha, Claire & Brooke, residents of an upscale condo building in Atlanta are all dealing with varying individual problems.
Concierge extraordinaire, Edward, initiates weekly screenings of the TV series `Downton Abbey' for all the residents in the building's clubroom where the ladies meet & unlikely friendships are forged.
Short discussions about scenes from `Downton Abbey' are interspersed throughout which I found entertaining being a fan of the TV show. If you have not seen the show or are not a fan of the show it is of no matter.
The ladies & even Edward aid & abet each other through some troubled times & while the story lines may be predictable, the characters are believable & likable. It is a neatly written journey of women's friendship, loyalty & courage with the right amount of wit & conflict to keep the reader's interest. While the ending may fizzle out a little it was an entertaining read all the same.
3.0 out of 5 starsShandy aside, a really good read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2013
This is a read that I really enjoyed. It is set in The Alexander, an apartment building in Atlanta and revolves around three women who live there, all from diverse backgrounds, who get to know each other when their Concierge arranges weekly screenings of Downton Abbey.
I have only ever seen Downton Abbey a few times but it is not necessary to have watched it to understand this book, although it does really make me want to sit down and watch every season now. I really enjoyed getting to know Brooke, Claire and Samantha and reading about how they start to bond and form real friendships throughout the screenings. They all have their own problems to deal with and, even though they become very close, it does take quite a while in the book for them to open up to each other about their deepest feelings and problems.
It is a nice, warm, cosy read that you can get lost in and as I said, I really enjoyed it. However, as is often the case, one really stupid error made me quite cross and blighted the whole read for me.
Each screening is accompanied by typically English nibbles - trifles, sausage and mash, scones etc. On one evening they are served Shandy, and over the course of a couple of hours Claire drinks so much Shandy that she is blind drunk and has to be taken home and put to bed. As anyone over this side of the pond knows, it is impossible to get drunk on Shandy because of the sheer volume needed. It is after all the drink we give to teenagers who want to appear grown up. The incident was then referred to quite a few times later on in the book, and it really did niggle me.
That having been said, it is a hugely enjoyable read that is well paced, although the last couple of chapters which rounded everything off did feel a little rushed.
4.0 out of 5 starsWorth a look for fans of Downton Abbey and Women's Fiction!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 16, 2017
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!
5.0 out of 5 starsWhilst we were watching Do w Anton Abbey - Wendy Wax
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 6, 2014
With Downton about to start series five in two weeks I decided I needed to catch up on my reading of whilst we were watching downtown Abbey. It is essentially about the lives of three women living at the Alexander apartments and their concierge Edward who is quint essentially English and a lover of Downton Abbey. In this novel series three is about to start the following January and so Edward thinks it may be a good way to get the apartments residents to meet up if he shows the first two series. It is here that Brooke, Claire and Samantha meet and form their friendship.
First book I've read by this author I was swayed to read it by the title being a fan of Downton Abbey. The story is based around an apartment block in the states were the new concierge is an Englishman and he is trying to encourage the tenants to get a more community spirit. He decides to show screenings of Downton Abbey in the entertainment room and hopes that this will bring the tenants together and new friendships made. Lovely story of friendship and love.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn't help but think what a fabulous film it would make. Great writing, haven't read any by this author before but will look out for more, really loved the characters and was very sad when I came to the end of the book. As a Downton fan this was right up my street but you don't have to know anything about Downton to enjoy it.