Summerset Abbey

Summerset Abbey
TJ Brown
Simon and Schuster

I don't normally read secular adult fiction, but I had seen this book on the internet, and when it caught my eye on the bookshelf of our library, I subjected it to my "judge of appropriateness" test (which includes a quick prayer and then flipping through the book to see if anything unacceptable catches my eye) and since it passed, I decided to check it out.

This book was...okay. I had the feeling whilst I was reading that it was written specifically geared toward a certain market: the "fans of Downton Abbey" market. (Although it was actually cleaner than the miniseries itself). It wasn't that I hated the book, but sometimes the characters' actions and ideas just didn't make sense to me- maybe because personality-wise I was so different from them. I think a 6 on my scale rating is about perfect- it's a passable novel, but it could have been better.

The ending seemed abrupt and was a complete surprise, because I wasn't expecting it at all. It felt unfinished, but since this is the first in a 3-book series (which I didn't realize when first reading it), I guess it makes sense.

There were a few language issues- about six words, I think- most of them British swear words like a couple uses of the word "bloody." There were also some feminism issues, but not so much as I was expecting, and it was even milder than I've encountered in some Christian books. Several characters drink, also, and there is a scandal involving an out-of-wedlock child, but there is nothing explicit or graphic.

Summerset Abbey was not a book that really impressed me or made me want to read any other books by the author, but it wasn't terrible, and as I said before, the word "passable" comes to mind when describing it.

Rating: 6


  1. Curious about these books Hayden - perhaps I'll pick them up yet. :) Enjoy this time period generally speaking.

    Thanks for spotlighting this book.

  2. Oh, that's disappointing, especially because the name is so cool.... :( I like your "judge of appropriateness" test! I'm going to try that the next time I come across such a book, I think.

  3. I have never heard of this book before, but then I don't really research secular fiction books the way I do Christian fiction books.

    I also like your way of seeing whether a book is appropriate or not. It's a good way to go about finding more about a book.


  4. Happy Summer!

    I am putting together a blog tour for a dear friend. Her debut book is Homeschooling Co-op's 101. If you are interested in signing up to join us, more info can be found here:

    Thanks so much!


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