Published by Berkely Trade
Published on April 2, 2013
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 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 world charm of The Alexander, and, 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.
This first thing that grabbed me about this book was the title. It had Downton Abbey in it and I’m a DA junkie. I was so sad when Season 3 ended and I have to wait until next January for Season 4. However, low and behold here is novel set in present day about watching and bonding over Downton Abbey. I just had to read it. And guess what? I LOVED IT!!!!
Wendy Wax has written some wonderful characters in Samantha, Clair, Brooke and Edward. Each has their own story and problems. I never felt that any character’s issue overshadowed the rest. All plotlines were so well-balanced and I thoroughly enjoyed reading each page. I really enjoyed how each plotline developed to its conclusion. Ms. Wax was able to give each character his/her own happy ending.
The blooming friendship between Samantha, Claire and Brooke was at the heart of the book. I liked how three very different women were able to bond and help each other through some very difficult times. I thought Ms. Wax portrayed female friendship in a very positive light. No cattiness, just genuine friendship.
Edward is a wonderful character. He is the glue that keeps everyone together. He gives Samantha, Clair and Brooke strength that they never knew they had. The ladies rely on him for so many different things and they will don’t realize it. He is the epitome of the English gentleman, even though he could be considered “in service.”
Downton Abbey is mainly just the reason for the women to meet and bond. There is some discussion of the series but not much. I wished there was more. The funniest part of the book was when Edward had all the ladies take a Downton quiz to find out which character they were. I won’t give away any secrets but the results will surprise you.
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is a wonderful book and I highly recommend reading it.
Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni (Angelology #2)
Published by Penguin Group (Viking)
Released on March 26, 2013
Received hardcover from publisher for review
Hailed by USA Today as “a thrill ride best described as The Da Vinci Code meets Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Danielle Trussoni’s bestselling first novel, Angelology, wove biblical lore, the Orpheus myth, and Milton’s Rebel Angels into a present-day world tinged with the divine supernatural. The novel plunged two endearing loners—art historian V. A. Verlaine and Evangeline, a beautiful young nun—into an ancient battle between a secret society and mankind’s most insidious enemies: angel-human hybrids known as the Nephilim.
Now a decade has passed since Verlaine saw Evangeline alight from the Brooklyn Bridge, the sight of her wings a betrayal that haunts him still. The Nephilim are again on the rise, scheming to construct their own paradise—the Angelopolis—and ruthlessly pursued by Verlaine in his new calling as an angel hunter. But when Evangeline materializes, Verlaine is besieged by doubts that will only grow as forces more powerful than even the Nephilim draw them from Paris to Saint Petersburg and deep into the provinces of Siberia and the Black Sea coast. A high-octane tale of abduction and liberation, treasure seeking and divine warfare, Angelopolis plumbs Russia’s imperial past, modern genetics, and the archangel Gabriel’s famous visitations to conceive a fresh tableau of history and myth that will, once again, enthrall readers the world over.
In Angelopolis, Danielle Trussoni continues her wonderful Angelology trilogy that will take you places that you never dreamed of. The war continues but who are the heroes and the villains? After you read this book, which side will you be on?
The story begins with Verlaine, ten years after he last saw Evangeline. He is now a extremely dedicated angel hunter. He hunts, captures and kills every angel that he comes across. His mission is clear until he sees Evangeline again. I love his internal conflict. Once again, which side will he choose. Ms. Trussoni has written his character to be obsessive in dealing with Evangeline. She is his addiction. Can he hunt her down like all his other conquests or will he submit to her seductive and beautiful nature? His struggle is intense and will take him to Russia and delve deeper into angelology lore.
I love that Ms. Trussoni took the readers to Russia. To me, angels and Romanovs fit perfectly together. Her references to the royal family and Rasputin pulls you further into the war between angels and humans. During the Romanov reign, Russia seemed so Gothic; the perfect backdrop for angelic warfare. Ms. Trussoni’s choice of Russia fits perfectly with the struggle of angelic resurrection; the rise and fall, and rise again, of Russia.
Unlike in Angelology, I found more sympathy for the Nephilim in Angelopolis. The horrific methods of angelologists put their justifications in doubt. Even Verlaine, at a specific moment, was able to feel some guilt and sympathy about their treatment. Specifically, there is a angel prison deep in the Siberian tundra. The conditions are horrible and treatment of the angels is even worse. Experimentation and torture are the norm. Even in war, is that acceptable? It makes you think, which side am I on?
New angels are introduced that will further confuse your loyalties; pure angels whose goals are unknown. In the end, Verlaine and Evangeline must make difficult choices. Will their choices end the world as they know it? The third book should answer that question and I can’t wait to read it!