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1913: In a sprawling manor on the outskirts of London, three young women seek to fulfill their destinies and desires amidst the unspoken rules of society and the distant rumblings of war. . . . Rowena Buxton Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under their uncle's guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey. Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the "underclass" in this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive social circle of aristocratic "rebels," Rowena must decide where her true passions--and loyalties--lie. Victoria Buxton Frail in body but filled with an audacious spirit, Victoria secretly dreams of attending university to become a botanist like her father. But this most unladylike wish is not her only secret--Victoria has stumbled upon a family scandal that, if revealed, has the potential to change lives forever. . . . Prudence Tate Prudence was lovingly brought up alongside Victoria and Rowena, and their bond is as strong as blood. But by birth she is a governess's daughter, and to the lord of Summerset Abbey, that makes her a commoner who must take her true place in society--as lady's maid to her beloved "sisters." But Pru doesn't belong in the downstairs world of the household staff any more than she belongs upstairs with the Buxton girls. And when a young lord catches her eye, she begins to wonder if she'll ever truly carve out a place for herself at Summerset Abbey.
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. . . . Victoria Buxton 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. Rowena Buxton 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. Prudence Tate 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. . . .
The thrilling conclusion to the evocative Summerset Abbey series, featuring two sisters and their maid as they navigate an uncertain world in the midst of World War I.Aristocratic and free-spirited sisters Rowena and Victoria, as well as their maid and dear friend Prudence navigate the uncertain social and political climate of WWI-era England in the dramatic conclusion to the sweeping saga about the women of Summerset. Vividly evoking both time and place with authentic dialogue and richly detailed settings, this beautifully written novel explores the conflict between tradition and modernity as these women struggle to determine what to expect from their futures...
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