While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Published: Berkley 2013
Format: Kindle Edition 384 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Source: own book
When the concierge of The Alexander, 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 Davis 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 Walker is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for the old world charm of The Alexander, and 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 MacKenzie, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She’s just starting to realize 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 the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey.
I really enjoyed this book and it was quickly read. The story of the three women held my interest all the way through. One aspect of this book that really grabbed me was that we can’t always know what is really going on for a person or in a person.
Take Samantha for instance, she was seen as the rich women who had it all and too snooty to be interested in the ‘lower’ class of people. In actual fact Samantha is a warm hearted caring person, her only problem is that she has denied herself to take care of her brother and sister and takes responsibility for their welfare. She has pushed back her own feelings and needs, always watching to see what is the ‘right thing to say and do’. Her gradual awakening was a very important part of this book.
Claire is an author who has left her neighbourhood and moved into the city. She spends her time staring at the blank page, unable to write the historical novel her publisher is expecting from her. She is learning to cope with living alone as her daughter steps out into college life and more independence. Her growing friendship with Samantha and Brooke is very important and eventually leads her to being able to form the printed word into a book – but not quite in the way she expected.
Brooke is a mother with a two young daughters, she has worked to put her husband through his study to become a plastic surgeon. Now he has left her, for a woman who is willing to undergo the knife to look good. I love the way that Brooke grows as the story unfolds, and the way she begins to stand up for herself.
These three women form a bond, they learn together what true friendship means, and how valuable such a friendship bond is.
Edward the concierge is a character to admire, it is he who helps these women truly find each other as they watch the first and second series of Downton Abbey. Like many, I too enjoy watching Downton Abbey, and it was fun to remember this series through the eyes of the characters.