Edward Parker is the concierge at the Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building. His family has been in service in England for generations. With a degree from Cornell School of Hotel Administration and years of experience, he finally started his own business, Private Butler, and won the contract at the Alexander. And, he's smart enough to think he might be able to bring together some of the women in the building by showing Sunday night screenings of the first two seasons of Downton Abbey leading up to season three.
Edward manipulates three of the women to sit together. At forty-seven, even after twenty-six years of marriage to a wealthy man, Samantha Davis is still insecure. She was a young bride with two younger siblings to raise, always grateful to her husband for marrying her and saving them from financial and legal issues. She appears to have everything, but her family life isn't quite what it appears.
After three years of marriage, Claire Walker divorced her husband, and raised her daughter, Hailey, on her own. Now, Hailey's off to college, and after writing two historical romances while working, Claire moved into the Alexander, giving herself a year to write full-time. But, that's not working quite as she expected.
Brooke MacKenzie, her husband, and two daughters moved into the building because her plastic surgeon husband wanted to be closer to monied people. Then, he left her for a younger woman, leaving Brooke a little stunned and feeling inadequate.
For a little while, it seems as if Edward Parker's plans to create friendship will succeed. But, even the perfect Private Butler can't make life go smoothly. While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is a treat, just in time for the next season of Downton Abbey to premiere in January. And, the book also has a great cast with family problems, financial problems, issues that affect relationships. Wendy Wax had a wonderful idea to spin a novel around the screening of Downton Abbey. She succeeds beautifully with a warm novel about friendship. It's an appealing story that doesn't depend on the television show for its success.
Wendy Was' website is www.authorwendywax.com
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax. Berkley Books. 2013. ISBN 9780425263310 (paperback), 376p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.