Book Review

‘Rutherford Park’ by Elizabeth Cooke

rp ecSTORY: Snow had fallen in the night, and now the great house, standing at the head of the valley, seemed like a five-hundred-year old ship sailing in a white ocean…

For the Cavendish family, Rutherford Park is much more than a place to call home. It is a way of life marked by rigid rules and lavish rewards, governed by unspoken desires…

Lady of the house Octavia Cavendish lives like a bird in a gilded cage. With her family’s fortune, her husband, William, has made significant additions to the estate, but he too feels bound—by the obligations of his title as well as his vows. Their son, Harry, is expected to follow in his footsteps, but the boy has dreams of his own, like pursuing the new adventure of aerial flight. Meanwhile, below stairs, a housemaid named Emily holds a secret that could undo the Cavendish name.

On Christmas Eve 1913, Octavia catches a glimpse of her husband in an intimate moment with his beautiful and scandalous distant cousin. She then spies the housemaid Emily out in the snow, walking toward the river, about to make her own secret known to the world. As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, an epic tale of longing and betrayal is about to unfold at Rutherford Park…

REVIEW: The building of Rutherford Park first began in 1530.  It is a vast estate added onto and improved by each Earl who has lived there over the years.  Currently, William Cavendish, the 8th Earl and his wife, Octavia reside there with their three children, Harry, 19, and daughters Louise and Charlotte.  Louise is soon to be presented at court.  Rutherford Park has always been run is a very strict way and the staff is very attentive to their duties.

Harry is a young man who dreams of flying in a plane and hopes one day to do so.  Louise and Charlotte dream of their season and the balls and dinner parties they will be able to attend.

Octavia is woman who is becoming bored with her life.  Her children are nearly grown and her duties of running her home are not enough to stimulate her.  Her husband, William, is a good man but when Octavia sees him in the arms of a visiting distant cousin, her faith in her marriage is shattered.

The servants know their places and keep themselves separate from the family.  However, when housemaid Emily Maitland suffers a tragedy, the results end up affecting the Cavendish family.

An indiscretion from William’s past comes back to haunt him and ends up driving a wedge between him and Octavia.  Will their marriage be able to survive it?

With the threat of war imminent, life changes for the Cavendish family, the staff and the entire country. Louise finds herself caught up in a frightening situation that ends up showing the entire family what is truly important in life.

I enjoyed this novel.  It was written in a rather depressing way although it was still quite good.  Downton Abbey fans should find this book to be interesting to them.

Connie for b2b


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