by Leila Meacham


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Gone with the Wind
meets The Help in the stunning prequel to Leila Meacham's bestselling family epic Roses.

"From birth, Jessica had eschewed the role to which she'd been born. Was it because she sensed that her father's indulgence was compensation for his disappointment in her? Jessica thought too much, questioned, challenged, rebelled. Sometimes Eunice thought her daughter should have been born a male."

Born into the wealthiest and most influential family in 1830s South Carolina, Jessica Wyndham was expected to look appealing, act with decorum, and marry a suitably prominent and respectable man. However, her outspoken opinions and unflagging sense of justice make her a difficult-and dangerous-firebrand, especially for slavery-dependent Carson Wyndham. Jessica's testing of her powerful father's love is only the beginning of the pain, passion, and triumph she will experience on a journey with the indomitable, land-obsessed Silas Toliver and headstrong Jeremy Warwick to a wild new land called Texas.


"Discovering Leila Meacham and her spectacular talent is akin to discovering gold. With this novel she has become a national treasure."
-Huffington Post

"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."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455547395
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 79,461
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.75(d)

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

Customer Reviews

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Somerset 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
happiestwen More than 1 year ago
Leila Meacham is a wonderful writer. I was introduced to her first book ROSES by my hubby. It was a valentines gift and one that spread through friends and family. Leila wites about families from the old South! Such a great get away to be able to pick up this book and drift into her world of characters! Read all 3 of her books! You will love them all and await the next!
Dana77 More than 1 year ago
This isn't a book you read, this is a book you climb right into and live. Meacham is a gifted storyteller and nobody weaves a better family saga in the historical fiction genre.
hopewhitcomb More than 1 year ago
Anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction and about generations of families will certainly enjoy Somerset. It takes the entertwined history of two Southern families who blaze the trail to unsettled Texas. Good historical facts, friendship, love, and adventure. I look forward to rereading the sequel Roses. Great for book clubs due to the many different themes that can be discussed.
GoldyD More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Leila Meacham has a wonderful way of drawing you in to the family dynamic, with a pace that keeps the book moving. This is a prequel to her last two books. This is a perfect time for anyone who has not discovered her to enjoy this and read them in order. I couldn't put this book down, outstanding.
Candigib More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic...could not put it down!
Almost-Tica More than 1 year ago
Roses is one of my favorite novels, and after reading its prequel, I can say that Somerset is another.  Both are great escapist novels with realistic, identifiable characters and descriptive portrayals of the land (which is actually a major protagonist itself).  The only bad thing about this book is that it ended too quickly!  I wish all the books I buy could be as good as this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
absolutely amazing ! !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it! It's a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED Roses, was so excited to read somerset. TERRIBLE BOOK. The story was all over. didnt care about charctors the story was so slow. I wish i never read it. Dont waste your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this for a gift, because I had read Roses and Tumbleweeds. This is a prequel to Roses. I couldn't pit the other two books down. Hope to read this one in the future and hope she writes more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Really enjoyed this book loved the characters and the story of the south hope there will be more to come
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really hard to put down!!! This was a great saga from the beginning to the end! I hated for it to end!
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Kristen_Noel More than 1 year ago
  Somerset wasn't a bad book by any means. But I was entirely uninterested the entire time I plowed through this chunky book. It took me over a month to read it. The story never caught my attention, and I squeezed in a few pages here and there until I was able to finish it. The plot is relatively predictable which always makes it harder to get drawn in.     I do feel like Leila Meacham is an excellent writer. I loved the way she developed her characters and their dialogue. But I think I would enjoy it if her writing reflected a sense of passion and enthusiasm. It almost felt as if she was just as bored writing Somerset as I was reading it. **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite In Somerset, the prequel to her New York Times best-selling Roses, Leila Meacham has crafted a sweeping, epic tale as vast and uncompromising as the Texas landscape in which the majority of narrative takes place. The events of Somerset unfold over four generations and six decades with enough twists and turns to delight even the most hard-to-please reader. Two powerful antebellum South Carolina families, the Tolivers and the Warwicks, descended from British nobility, endure lost inheritances, forced marriage, westward expansion, boll weevils, abolitionist activity, war, betrayal, rivalry and countless reversals of fortune in their efforts to put down roots in Texas. As Silas Toliver and his wife Jessica wend their way from a forced marriage to real love and struggle to establish and maintain the novel’s title plantation against inconceivable odds, the reader is drawn into a world rich with real history and cultural references - windows to a fascinating and brutal era that shaped America. Leila Meacham writes with a syrupy Southern lilt and a twinkle in the eye of her dialogue. Somerset’s narrative is utterly charming, shamelessly old school and spun to perfection. When combined with the fascinating stream of factual tidbits pertaining to actual history, bygone customs, and social graces, the overall effect is mesmerizing. Actor and teacher Teresa DeBerry conjures four generations of Tolivers, Warwicks and DuMonts with astonishing facility and breath-taking consistency. Her sensitive and crystalline portrayals are rendered with such precision that one can hear the characters age as the book progresses. The audio quality of this Hachette production is superlative in every aspect. The pristine sound quality makes it possible for the listener to descend fully into the world of Somerset. Somerset by Leila Meacham is an enormously entertaining and educational tale of an emerging America with all of its ideals and its growing pains intact. Venturing into the world of the Tolivers and Warwicks may be as close to time travel as we will get in our lifetimes. This is a book eminently worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book. Highly recommend it along with ROSES.
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