Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've always enjoyed Barbara Taylor Bradford's books, and this one is no exception. Cavendon Hall in Yorkshire, is the home of two families: the "upstairs" Ingrahams and the "downstairs" Swanns. The two families have been intertwined for over 150 years, each family keeping the others' secrets. In fact the two families have a common oath "Loyalty Binds" which is taken by all members of the two families. The plot in this first book of a series centers on the years just before and just after World War I, and in particular tells the story of Lady Daphne Ingraham and the terrible secret that she carries. Many characters are introduced - Daphne's siblings, her suitor, her parents, and Walter, Alicia, Charlotte, and Cecilie Swann. It's an idyllic existence until a terrible event changes Daphne's life. I liked the families, even if it's all a little too perfect. Of course, since this is the beginning of a "sweeping family saga" many threads are woven into the story upon which succeeding books will elaborate. At times the story felt forced and rushed, but I did really enjoy it.
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