I myself was late to arrive at Highclere Castle, but once I did I, like the characters in this novel, was hooked. Who could resist the darkly mysterious Mr. Bates or not want to become as outspoken as the Dowager Countess Violet? But despite the title, the television series and those who dwell within are merely supporting players.
The three main characters in the novel have a few twists and turns in the plots of their lives. Claire is a writer who finds a million ways to procrastinate. (I could really relate to her, I’m sorry to say.) Brooke is the wife who got dumped after putting her plastic-souled plastic surgeon husband through med school. Samantha has mastered outward appearances but is terrified of letting anyone beneath her surface perfection.
The other players in the novel are well-written. I wish I had the services of Edward, the dapper concierge, and I am grateful I don’t have Samantha’s steely mother-in-law.
Like a respectable soap opera, all ends if not happily ever after at least happy for now. Wendy Wax left me hoping for a sequel.