Cavendon Hall is home to two families, the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them. Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mowbray, lives there with his wife Felicity and their six children. Walter Swann, the premier male of the Swann family, is valet to the earl. His wife Alice, a clever seamstress who is in charge of the countess’s wardrobe, also makes clothes for the four daughters.
For centuries, these two families have lived side-by-side, beneath the backdrop of the imposing Yorkshire manor. Lady Daphne, the most beautiful of the Earl’s daughters, is about to be presented at court when a devastating event changes her life and threatens the Ingham name. With World War I looming, both families will find themselves tested in ways they never thought possible. Loyalties will be challenged and betrayals will be set into motion. In this time of uncertainty, one thing is sure: these two families will never be the same again.
Cavendon Hall is Barbara Taylor Bradford at her very best, and its sweeping story of secrets, love, honor, and betrayal will have readers riveted up to the very last page.
REVIEW: Cavendon Hall was finished being built in 1761 and the famous Lancelot “Capability” Brown created the grounds and gardens around the home. Now, it is 1913 and the home is lived in by Charles Ingham, Sixth Earl of Mowbray, his wife, Felicity, and their six children which include two sons and four daughters. For generations, the Ingham family has always been served, revered and protected by the Swann family.
One day, while walking on the grounds of her home, the lovely daughter, Daphne, was attacked and brutally raped. While her attacker was wearing a scarf around his face, she managed to pull it off and saw and recognized who it was. From the rape, she becomes pregnant and with the help of the level-headed Swann family and the love of her own parents, plans were made for her to take a grand tour of Europe while hiding out until her baby is born and then putting it up for adoption. However, this is not necessary, for a cousin of Earl Mowbray has just returned from a long stay in America and Switzerland. When Hugo and Daphne meet, they are drawn to one another and after she confesses the problem to him, they agree to a quick marriage.
As World War I is threatening, the family is beginning to see changes coming and considers how this will affect them. The Mowbray heir goes to war as does Hugo. Cavendon Hall is so large that two wings are opened and used as a recuperation hospital for injured soldiers.
Intertwined in the novel are side stories of how the Swann family looks after the Ingham family, sharing their secrets and keeping them safe. Daphne kept the true identity of her rapist a secret letting her parents think it was someone else who was now dead. However, danger is still there as incidents happen showing there is someone out there who wishes the family harm. Will this person be caught? How will the family and Cavendon Hall fare from the war?
Calling all Downton Abbey fans! This is a novel you will not want to miss!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it highly. I’m hearing that there will be a sequel and if so, I eagerly await its publication.
Connie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by my Library.