Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review of By the Sea, Book One, Tess by Antoinette Stockenberg

Read for: Across the States & Mount TBR
Synopsis: "In the tradition of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, BY THE SEA is a four-book series that sweeps from the Gilded Age through the Gatsby Era's Roaring Twenties and then on to the Great Depression, culminating nearly a century later in Newport, Rhode Island, wealthy and alluring "City by the Sea." Set against a backdrop of mansions, the glorious America's Cup Yacht Races, and new money, the series traces the passions and adventures of three families from three different classes.

Book One: TESS. From the wild decadence of late nineteenth-century Newport comes the tale of Tess Moran, a beautiful Irish housemaid in one of the grand summer "cottages," who makes a dark bargain with a man of commanding wealth -- and falls in love in the bargain."

My Review: I really enjoyed the local setting and the details that I have seen for myself, it really helped with the imagery. I enjoyed Tess as a character but she really didn't fit in the era, I guess that was the point of the story, pushing out of the societal boundaries. I feel like things got a little rushed towards the end of the Cup races, I would have like to have read more about Aaron and his actions, he seemed like a very interesting character with some dynamic emotions and life. I did feel like there were a few toss away characters, which I am not a fan of, I prefer if there is a character introduced that they actually hold some standing in the story. I must say though that I am intrigued and may have to read more in this series.
My Rating: I did enjoy this book, more than I expected.  I think being from the housemaid's point of view really made the difference for me. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
Note: Things get a little frisky but not overly explicit (hence not an after dark review).

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