Secrets of Cavendon
Cavendon Hall - A Novel
Barbara Taylor Bradford
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford, comes a striking, breathtaking saga featuring the aristocratic Inghams and the Swann family, who have loyally served them for generations.
It’s the summer of 1949, and things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall for years, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets between the two families. But since the end of World War II, changes have arrived at Cavendon. A new generation is at the helm, and also at the forefront of new scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.
Told with Bradford’s inimitable deftness of prose and a beloved cast of characters, Secrets of Cavendon is a captivating novel that will draw readers in and grip them until the very last page.
A good story
Secrets of Cavendon is the fourth book in the Cavendon Chronicles. This book takes place in England, shortly after WWII. I had some difficulty getting into this book, probably because I hadn’t read the prior three books in the series. Having said that, once I learned the characters well enough, and became involved in the story; the book took off and kept me captivated until the end.
The story begins with Cecily Swann Ingham the seventh Countess of Mowbray, contemplating the state of Cavendon, and the financial burden that it had become. Cecily had done her best to keep the estate afloat, even at the cost of putting her at odds with her sister-in-law, Daphne. Her sister-in-law was so distressed by the commercialization of the estate that she decided to move to Switzerland for a year. The Swann and Ingham family have been close for years, Cecily hated the fact that she might be the cause of the rift between them. She’ll have to take over Daphne’s responsibilities, of course, which will mean that she’ll have to run her London clothing store from afar. Cecily’s business was already losing money, and now it’ll probably lose more. She’ll have to keep that information to herself for the time being. Some secrets can’t be helped, just like the one her Aunt Charlotte told her about. That particular dark secret, however, will stay buried forever, or so Cecily had believed. But when a murder occurred in their family, scandalous secrets were unearthed. Can the Swann and Ingham family, survive the turmoil and heal? Will they ever have the harmonious relationship that they once enjoyed for years?
Secrets of Cavendon is an entertaining read. Fans of the series will embrace this story. Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
Fourth book in series
Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford is fourth book in Cavendon Chronicles Series. It is June in 1949 at Cavendon Hall. Countess Cecily Swann Ingham is working to make the property profitable and for them to be able to pay the upcoming taxes. Lady Daphne objects to how commercial Cavendon Hall is becoming and decamps with her husband to Switzerland. Lady Cecily must now stay on at Cavendon Hall full time while managing her business, Cecily Swann Couture long-distance which has been struggling since the war ended. Lady Cecily decides to create a new collection using the gardens at Cavendon Hall as inspiration. Alicia Ingham Stanton is starting a new film and is taken by Adam Fennell, the associate producer. Can Adam be the love of her life? Victoria is busy doing photo shoots and is intrigued by her latest subject, Christopher Langdon. Lady Daphne’s family is worried about her health, but she is evading their questions. Life is never dull for the Swann and Ingham families. Come see how they are faring in Secrets of Cavendon.
Secrets of Cavendon did not feel as if it was written by Barbara Taylor Bradford. It lacked focus and jumped around from character to character (and kept introducing more people). The last 15% of the book was the most interesting. I was never pulled into the story the way I was with other works by this author (A Woman of Substance for example). Before embarking on Secrets of Cavendon, you need to have read the first three books in the Cavendon Chronicles Series (or you will be utterly lost in the beginning). The story dwells on Lady Cecily trying to keep the estate afloat. There is a lack of action until the end of the book when a murder occurs. Most of the characters lack depth, and they are all very similar (and felt fake). Many of them are superficial and do not add to the story. It is easy to predict how the book will turn out (it is expected). I found many of the same details repeated throughout the story (like filler) along with information from the previous books in the series. I do feel that Barbara Taylor Bradford accurately portrayed the financial woes that befell many great estates after World War II. Otherwise, I was not impressed with Secrets of Cavendon. I will hesitate before picking up another book by this author (she used to be one of my favorites).