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Somerset
Cover of Somerset
Somerset

One hundred fifty years of Roses' Tolivers, Warwicks, and DuMonts! We begin in the antebellum South on Plantation Alley in South Carolina, where Silas Toliver, deprived of his inheritance, joins up with his best friend Jeremy Warwick to plan a wagon train expedition to the "black waxy" promise of a new territory called Texas. Slavery, westward expansion, abolition, the Civil War, love, marriage, friendship, tragedy and triumph-all the ingredients (and much more) that made so many love Roses so much-are here in abundance.

One hundred fifty years of Roses' Tolivers, Warwicks, and DuMonts! We begin in the antebellum South on Plantation Alley in South Carolina, where Silas Toliver, deprived of his inheritance, joins up with his best friend Jeremy Warwick to plan a wagon train expedition to the "black waxy" promise of a new territory called Texas. Slavery, westward expansion, abolition, the Civil War, love, marriage, friendship, tragedy and triumph-all the ingredients (and much more) that made so many love Roses so much-are here in abundance.

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About the Author-
  • Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the bestselling novels Roses, Somerset, and Tumbleweeds. For more information, please visit LeilaMeacham.com.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from September 16, 2013
    Bestselling author Meacham is back with a prequel to Roses that stands on its own as a sweeping historical saga, spanning the 19th century. This time Meacham delves into the backstory of the Tolivers and Warwicks before they settled in Howbutker, Tex. The son of a plantation owner in South Carolina, young Silas Toliver has big plans to join his best friend Jeremy Warwick on a wagon train to the new territory of Texas with his true love, Lettie. The only problem is that his father has died and left him with nothing, so he has no funds to pursue his dream—that is, until a neighboring plantation owner, Mr. Carson Wyndham, offers him an unorthodox deal: he’ll fund Toliver’s trip to Texas, and set him up with a plantation there, if Toliver will marry his daughter, Jessica Wyndham. Jessica helped free a slave and could cause scandal for the family if she stays in South Carolina. After much inner turmoil, Toliver agrees. And so begins a tangled love story, and a curse that follows the Toliver family through multiple generations. Rich with American history and pitch-perfect storytelling, fans and new readers alike will find themselves absorbed in the family saga that Meacham has proven—once again—talented in telling.

  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2013
    Of teary eyes and torn crinoline: an appropriately big Texas saga by homegrown romance maven Meacham (Tumbleweeds, 2012, etc.). The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children. Or maybe the other way around, since this book covers the generations before the Warwicks and Tolivers donned Ralph Lauren, before their Dallas dust-ups in Roses (2010). Meacham's steamy prequel opens in Tidewater country, where young Jessica is pitching a wobbly because--well, because the pressure is on to do right by the paterfamilias and marry well onto some rich plantation, the ethical niceties of human bondage notwithstanding. Quoth she, in language befitting a coarser but more modern version of Gone with the Wind, "I'd rather copulate with a mule than a slave owner." It takes many pages before Miss Jessica bestirs herself for the westward movement and Manifest Destiny, for a vast landscape fussed and feuded over by stalwart Jeremy Warwick and Silas Toliver. Well, you can't settle a frontier or found an empire without breaking eggs, and Meacham's latest is littered with broken shells--most of them broken at just the right moment and not haphazardly, but always with the opportunity for bosoms to heave into view. Meacham writes skillfully, if never stretching the bounds of the historical romance genre; readers expecting a yarn of the Lonesome Dove school will find that they're in Barbara Cartland territory instead. (Miss Jessie, after all, belongs not to the local chapter of the Texas Rangers auxiliary but to a book club.) Still, Meacham writes competently, if without much flair, and her tale delivers what it sets out to do: Namely, it's a historical oater with oodles of emotion, rent hearts, sundered friendships and fierce Comanches. And does Ms. Jessie ever get around to bedding down with an anti-abolitionist? There's the question. Meacham's fans--and she has many--will be glad for this prequel.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2013
    This prequel to Meacham's best-selling debut, "Roses", offers 150 years' worth of Tolivers, Warwicks, and DuMonts. Bereft of his inheritance, Simon Toliver leaves South Carolina's Plantation Alley and strikes out with friend Jeremy Warwick for a new territory: Texas. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • USA Today (praise for Roses) "Roses heralded as new Gone with the Wind."—USA Today (praise for Roses)
  • Booklist (praise for Roses) "As large, romantic, and American a tale as Texas itself."—Booklist (praise for Roses)
  • Publishers Weekly (praise for Roses) "An enthralling stunner....A compelling saga with echoes of Gone with the
    Wind."—Publishers Weekly (praise for Roses)
  • Library Journal (praise for Roses) "It's been almost 30 years since the heyday of giant epics...but Meacham's
    debut might bring them back. Readers who like an old-fashioned saga will
    devour this sprawling novel of passion and revenge."—Library Journal (praise for Roses)
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    Grand Central Publishing
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