Sunday, June 19, 2016

Cavendon Trilogy by Barbara Taylor Bradford

I received an advanced copy of The Cavendon Luck from St. Martin's Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Shortly before The Cavendon Luck by Barbara Taylor Bradford was released on June 7, 2016,  I began reading the first book in the trilogy, Cavendon Hall.  This is my first time reading this author's works.  St. Martin's Press graciously offered me free access to all three books in the series and asked that I share my thoughts on the books.

If you are a fan of Downton Abbey and historical fiction, you will probably enjoy Barbara Taylor Bradford's three book series telling the stories of the Ingham and Swann families.  

In Cavendon Hall (3 stars for me) which is home to Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mowbray, and his wife, Felicity, their son Miles and four daughters, Deirdre, Daphne, DeLacy, and Dulcie.  Walter Swann is the Earl's valet and his wife, Alice, is a seamstress who makes the beautiful clothes for the ladies in the family.   The Ingham family and the Swann family have lived side by side for centuries.  When Daphne is attacked on Cavendon land, the Swann family comes to her aid.  Will what happened to her ruin Daphne's chances for happiness?  Not if the Swann's can help it.  As WWI begins to affect the world, the Ingham and Swann families must depend on each other during the hard times.  I enjoyed getting to know both families. I saw a lot of similarities to Downton Abbey in this book.  It did not detract from the Ingham/Swann family story though.  

Cavendon Women (3.5 stars for me) book 2 of the series, continues the story of the Ingham and Swann families.  It is now 1929 and the financial turmoil of the times had begun to affect the aristocracy.  Great houses are selling off their valuables and allowing tourists to pay to view their living quarters to make ends meet.  As the investments made by the men in the family fall apart, it is the women of the Ingham and Swann families that come to the rescue. This was a fast and enjoyable read.  I liked the fact that the women were not written as damsels in distress as is the case in most "romance" novels.  These are strong, smart women.

The Cavendon Luck (4 stars for me) is the newest release in the series.  It's 1938 and eldest daughter, Deirdre, is back working for the War Department. As Hitler and the Germans begin their assault on Europe, the Ingham and Swann families begin to prepare for the worst, an invasion of England by the Germans.  From victory gardens, war casualties, to air raid sirens, the reality of WWII England is here in full color.  This was probably my favorite book of the three.  Intrigue, family secrets, and a little bit of romance made it hard to put this book down.  

While not as compelling as Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale or Ken Follett's Century Trilogy, the Cavendon Chronicles will satisfy your Downton Abbey withdrawal.

Thanks for reading.


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