Summerset Abbey: A Bloom in Winter
As the icy chill of winter, 1914, settles on the magnificent country estate of Summerset Abbey, three young women seek comfort and warmth in the smiles of friends, the fire in their hearts, and the promise of spring…
With her delicate constitution but strong, unflappable spirit, Victoria has never followed societal conventions, the rules of fashion, or the pursuit of a husband. Instead, she finds herself drawn into the controversial—and dangerous—fight for women’s suffrage. But her dream is compromised, and her heart divided, when her struggle for equal rights collides with unexpected love.
After yearning to no avail for a certain young pilot to fly back into her life, Rowena fears her chances for happiness have been jeopardized by recklessness and scandal. Burdened with guilt for bringing her sister Prudence to Summerset Abbey as a lady’s maid while she herself led a life of privilege, Rowena hopes to one day make amends. But her desire to set things right is complicated by her passion for flight and a sudden engagement…to the wrong man.
Raised like a sister to Victoria and Rowena, then banished to the servants’ quarters when their father passed away, Prudence has seen both sides of life, upstairs and down. But once the truth about her parentage was revealed, Prudence forged a new life for herself, married to a penniless veterinary student. Living in poverty in a shabby London flat, she wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake—and there’s no turning back…
Read an Excerpt
Victoria paced the length of Summerset Abbey’s Great Hall, impatience rippling through her body. In London the mail had come at the same time every day, like clockwork. But at the sprawling country estate that she now called home, the mail’s arrival remained frustratingly unpredictable and... see more
Prudence looked around their flat, wondering yet again how she was supposed to live in two and a half rooms and a single water closet. Then she berated herself. They were lucky to have the WC and even luckier to be out of the flea-ridden boardinghouse where they had been living since they had arrived... see more
Reading Group Guide
After Prudence’s desperate marriage and move to London, sisters Rowena and Victoria fear they have lost their beloved friend forever. Guilt-ridden and remorseful, Rowena seeks comfort from a daring flyboy and suddenly finds herself embracing the most dangerous activity the world has ever seen. Her younger sister Victoria, in a desperate attempt to prove herself, defies her family and her illness to make her own dream occupation as a botanist come true . . . but she instead finds herself lured into a dangerous and controversial society dedicated to the fight for women’s suffrage.
As England and the world step closer to conflict, the three young women flout their family, their upbringing and their heritage to seize a modern future of their own making.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Summerset Abbey: A Bloom in Winter picks up a few months after the final scene of Summerset Abbey. In the opening chapters, we are swiftly updated on the lives of our three heroines: Victoria is more dete see more