Saturday, January 19, 2013

A second gallery of Downton Abbey readalikes

Since I posted my last visual preview with a focus on historical novels that have been compared to Downton Abbey, I've come across many more. Below are 11 additional titles, mostly forthcoming, plus a couple of recent releases.  These novels will incorporate a similar setting, timeframe, subject, or theme (or maybe all of them).  Note how many have "house" titles!

I have four novels from the previous list on my to-review pile and will be getting to them as I'm able.



A July 2012 novel gets a classy new look (although I loved the original cover too) for its UK release.  Billed as "Downton Abbey meets The English Patient," The Sandcastle Girls follows a young Mount Holyoke grad as she arrives in 1915 Syria to take up nursing duties and runs into evidence of an Armenian genocide. A present-day thread tells the story of her descendant. Simon & Schuster UK, hb last August, pb this March; also hb from Doubleday US (different cover).



The story of a young woman physician living through a whirlwind of social changes as they hit 1920s Seattle, a new setting for a Downtonesque saga.  A debut novel.  Kensington, June 2013.



In this classic British saga, the wealthy Cavendish family of Rutherford Park has a centuries-old legacy of honor and tradition to uphold, but in the year 1913, the heir yearns to break free to live a life of his own, and long-held secrets are about to be revealed. Berkley, July 2013.



In 1917, when little Victoria Bradshaw vanishes from her family's grand country estate at Tyringham park, her older sister Charlotte sees painful secrets from their past brought front and center.  This is the UK release of a novel published last October by Poolbeg, a small Irish press.  "Period glamour and darkness," says the blurb.  Penguin UK, February 2013.



We're heading back to the 18th century with Caroline Sandon's debut novel, set in Burnt Norton in rural Gloucestershire (where the author also lives).  In 1731, Sir William Keyt will stop at nothing to protect his family's social standing, even if it means destroying his surviving son's chance at love and happiness. "A powerful story, beautifully told, of greed and love and betrayal and waste," says Julian Fellowes.  Head of Zeus (UK), June 2013.



In 1891, the aristocratic Fairbairn family of Lochlee Castle in Argyllshire, Scotland, struggles to free themselves from a terrible curse.  The author has written many sagas set around the turn of the 20th century.  Severn House, February 2013.



I came across Cinders and Sapphires via a NetGalley promotion.  This first in the "At Somerton" series for YAs tells of a friendship between a titled young woman, Ada Averley of Somerton, and her new housemaid... and of a larger scandal that threatens to envelop the Averley family.  A nice review from Kirkus, which called it "a thoroughly satisfying romp for Downton Abbey fans."  Hyperion, January 2013.


Deanna Raybourn's upcoming novel is one that we'd discussed in the comments of my last Downton post, and I've already preordered it.  In 1923, following a major scandal, flapper Delilah Drummond is sent away to Fairlight, her stepfather's savannah manor house in Kenya.  Africa is becoming a more prevalent setting for historicals; is this a new trend in itself?  MIRA, May 2013.



In 1904, Ravenscliffe of the title is a neglected Victorian manor in a Yorkshire mining village which becomes the new home of a Russian √©migr√©, her good friend, and their families, but their contentment is not to last.  This is the sequel to Netherwood though it's been written to stand alone. Sphere (UK), September 2012.



Second in the Jane Eyre Chronicles, a series which imagines the well-known former governess as sleuth.  In the 1820s, while their rural home is being renovated, Jane and her husband Edward Rochester relocate to London, where they get caught up in the social scene and Jane investigates the death of a snooty matron.  Berkley, April 2013.



An atmospheric mystery with ghosts set in a seaside village in 1920s England, as Oxford student Jillian Leigh investigates who killed her uncle.  I'll be conducting an interview with the author for Historical Novels Review and am looking forward to reading this one.  NAL, March 2013. 

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for causing my TBR pile to once again grow significantly *LOL* I think I would like to read every one of the books on the list!

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    1. My TBR is hurting, too... I've managed to acquire nearly all of the books from my first list!

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    2. I've also managed to acquire most of the books from your first list :-)

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  2. So excited to see a second gallery of Downton Abbey read-alikes! Thanks for posting.

    I'm trying to remember if you've mentioned Ashenden by Elizabeth Wilhilde. It's been marketed to Downton Abbey fans. I just reviewed it over on my blog and thought it was a gorgeous read!

    http://www.historicalfictionnotebook.com/2013/01/review-ashenden.html

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    1. Wonderful review - I left a comment on your site too! I had Ashenden in an earlier list of Downton readalikes and am glad to hear it's such an excellent read, even if the publisher's comparison to Downton is a bit misleading.

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  3. Such a wonderful list of books! Thank you so much, and I'm sure I'll be choosing one of these. I just finished reading the book, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by the Countess of Carnarvon and it is also a must-read for fans of the Downton Abbey series.

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    1. I'm pleased you liked the list. I've seen mentions of the Lady Almina book and must get my hands on a copy.

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  4. I have noticed that African locales are starting to become more frequent. I'm intrigued by them but still not as much as the tried and true locales of HF. Great list.

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    1. It's almost like African settings are being introduced gradually, with novels (like this one and Lauren Willig's) taking place partly in Kenya and partly elsewhere. Thanks for your comments on the list!

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  5. Thanks so much! I must have missed the first list, so will go back and check it out. I'm excited to see how these are, as I am in love with Downton Abbey.

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    1. My husband and I are both addicted to the show. I haven't read anything from this list yet, but I will... I have my eye on Tyringham Park in particular.

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  6. I love Downtown Abbey and will read anything similar. Thank you for this list. I am looking forward to reading several of these books.

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    1. You're welcome - it was fun to put together, and I bet we'll be seeing more Downton novels in the fall, too!

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  7. Thank you so much for both of these lists. I added many of them to my wishlist. Downton Abbey (and the 100th anniversary of the Titanic) really opened up a whole new historical fiction time period for me. Prior to "seeing" these characters I always imagined them all to be stuffy. I got so hooked that I started watching other shows set around that time.

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    1. Good point about the Titanic's 100th anniversary... that's increased the audience for novels set during the period, too. What other shows do you recommend?

      Thanks for your comments on the list!

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    2. Anonymous10:45 AM

      HBO will be premiering "Parade's End" based on the novels by Ford Madox Ford, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and with a script by Tom Stoppard, in February.

      Sarah Other Librarian

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    3. Thanks for the heads-up. I suspect other readers here are HBO subscribers (I'll keep an eye out for it on Netflix eventually!).

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  8. I've taken the whole list down! it is absolutely amazing and thank you.

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    1. You're welcome and thanks for your comments! Glad you find it useful.

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  9. Anonymous10:22 AM

    And here's one I just found on Amazon: ASHTON PARK by Murray Pura, pub. by Harvest House.

    Sarah Other Librarian

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    1. It does fit the theme. I have a galley and didn't list it here because, having skimmed it, I found it difficult to recommend. The writing was less than impressive, and I was already wary of a novel in which a noblewoman was described as being best friends with the head cook.

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    2. Anonymous1:40 PM

      Yes, it's published by Harvest House . . . that's all I'll say.

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