I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey and adore novels that
take place in the early 20th century. Sherri Browning's
novel THE GREAT ESTATE takes place during King Edward VII's
reign. Author Sherri Browning's elegant prose perfectly conveys the
rich historical and political details of the time. The
novel presents the changes which began to take place during
this time of peace and prosperity.
The character of Sophia resonated with me. I admired the
novel's determined heroine and her pragmatic approach to
running Thornbrook Park. She hired an American to advise
her on estate matters and listened to his thoughts and
ideas. Sophia visited the tenants, worked with them side-by-side and
implemented changes which benefited both the
tenants and Thornbrook Park. Sophia has transformed herself
as well as Thornbrook Park during her husband's absence.
Will Gabriel support Sophia's changes or dismiss them?
Gabriel, Lord Averford is determined to win Sophia's love.
Lord Averford realizes he and Sophia didn't know each
other well before they married. He decides to court his
countess to win her affections. Kudos to Sherri Browning for
writing such a great hero who understood that he needed to
change to make his marriage whole again. I loved the scene
where Gabriel dressed in a minstrel's costume plays the
guitar and serenades Sophia with an Italian love song. In
this scene, the reader recognizes Gabriel and Sophia
love each other, but the couple has a difficult time
expressing their feelings.
Each of the secondary characters was well written and
played a pivotal role in the storyline. Loved Aunt Agatha
and Teresa, the Dowager Countess of Averford. These two
woman were very different and their differences in opinion,
personality and dress added both humor and insight to the
drama. Gabriel and Sophia share a dilemma common to many
married couples who experience loss. Gabriel turned away
from his wife and devoted himself to Thornbrook Park and
politics while Sophia withdrew and spent time with her
family. I read the last third of THE GREAT ESTATE in one sitting. I
was invested in the novel and I loved the ending. Sherri Browning skillfully
sets the stage for a reunion for this
Pulled apart by past mistakes
Sophia Thorne was young and inexperienced when she married
the dashing Earl of Averford...and through dark and troubled
times, their relationship nearly came to an end. Now she's
determined to transform herself into the fiery, ardent lover
she always wanted to be, giving them a second chance at
love... before they're lost to each other forever.
Driven by a passion neither could deny
It took nearly losing Sophia for Gabriel to realize he had
allowed his love for his great estate to distract him from
his beautiful wife. But that time is over. Despite all the
obstacles standing in their way, Gabriel vows to teach
Sophia what it is to truly love...and to be loved by a
husband devoted heart and soul to her every desire.