From the #1 New York Times best-selling author comes an epic saga of intrigue and mystique set in Edwardian England. 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 listeners riveted up to the very last word.
©2014 Beaji Enterprises (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
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This book was written in a fairytale semi-historic way that is so without depth that the individual characters can be summed up in the author's few words. Once these words are introduced, they are used ad nauseam. For aristocratic Ingham women:
"lovely, kind, so gentle and caring", frosted with sweetness and aching heart's. (Who must pass the time of day thinking only of ballgowns.)
Then the aristocratic men:
"Devoted, entranced, so brave, so noble." This goo is topped with variations of:
"What ever is wrong, my dear, lovely wife?" Often altered "my dear girl" or my personal favorite, "What ever can it be, my dear love?"
In fairness, the last quote is altered to fit both genders, in all strata of society.
If that weren't enough, the servants of the aristocrats – in this case the "Swann Family" are cursed with their own never ending phrases and heart aches. Though not nearly as pervasive as the aristocratic Ingham's. If I could run a word program choosing these words, and sickly sweet phrases, it might read in the hundreds.
If you don't mind being bombarded with "My dear's" and characters whose lives center on the next ball or frock, you might enjoy it. Otherwise, run! You will never get those hours back.
Predictable without resolution of most intriguing plot line. Have never read this author before so perhaps this is just a set up for a sequel. I'm not that interested in any of the characters to spend my time on another book by this auther
I thought the performance was great but didn't like the ending at all. Very disappointed
Downton Abbey it is NOT, even if it wants to be. Here the servants tell the nobility how to solve their problems.
The narrator is good, until she tries to portray the different characters. Her attempt at different accents, is comical & annoying. (This book is not supposed to be a comedy)
I blame the publishers & recording companies who release such mediocre works. The audio listener deserves better.
If you want a boring and predictable book when almost nothing happens and people are always exeedingly polite and understanding (while wearing beautiful clothes), then this is the book for you. BTB is Mom's favorite author, and her early books - about Emma Heart - are really good. But Cavendon Hall made me complain out loud: "oh, come on! let's have something HAPPEN!!! it's booooring!". Downton Abbey meets Nora Roberts.
I like Barbara Taylor Bradford and have always enjoyed her books, but as I read this book, I could not help but think back to Downton Abbey and how many of the story lines in Downton were in Cavendon House. I finished the book, but not sure if I will continue the series.
The story gets a bit predictable and dull, mostly because the lead characters are flawless, apart for being good looking, they accept everything and forgive everything
Nice story. Not exciting but kept my attention as some things happened you didn't expect and some that you did. Family life was much different back then story of the first world war from England's point of view and aristocrats.
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For better or for worse, Barbara Taylor Bradford is a Saga-Queen. I’ve read a few of her books and my conclusion is that the stories are a little “hit and miss” - some were great and captivating, others were tedious and dreadful.
In general, if you want to read sweeping chronicles that go on and on through many generations then you’ll be in good hand with her novels… of course you have to put them in perspective! They’re a little schmaltzy, a little cliché, somewhat predictable with staged plots – but if you are in the right mood, it all works.
I hated the Ravenscar Dynasty Series because it was so unfulfilling!
The early Emma Harte Series were good, but the later “modern” ones were not that special… after a while I felt like nothing was going on!
This series (well, Book 1 anyway) was enjoyable. Could it be because the lives of early 20th century English aristocrats is particularly in fashion now-a-days thanks to DTA? Whatever the reason it all worked for me and I was entertained throughout. I’ve already downloaded Book 2.
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