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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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.From Booklist:
Meacham (Tumbleweeds, 2012) returns to her beloved Tolivers and Warwicks in this prequel to her first surprise best-seller, Roses (2010). Spanning more than six decades, Somerset takes readers back to 1835 as Silas Toliver and Jeremy Warwick, younger sons of wealthy plantation owners, prepare to leave South Carolina in search of greater fortune in Texas. In a classic Meacham twist, Silas is forced to marry Jessica Wyndham, a headstrong heiress who harbors abolitionist sentiments. Love eventually grows between them and they form the foundation upon which retired high-school English teacher Meacham built Roses. Though Meacham sets her tale against the backdrop of historical upheavals, even the Civil War takes a backseat to the Tolivers’ domestic dramas full of intrigue and tragedy. Like many multigenerational sagas, Somerset aims for breadth, not depth, and loses a bit of steam as its original characters, whom Meacham develops with great care, cede the stage to a succession of offspring lacking similar spark. To the author’s credit, Jessica is a tough act to follow. --Patty Wetli
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