Monday, July 22, 2013

Rutherford Park

Rutherford Park
Author: Elizabeth Cooke
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 2, 2013

Book Description:
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…
Idgie Says:
A beautifully descriptive novel that shows us the upstairs/downstairs English style of living of the early 1900s. The ridiculously rigid rules that both sides of the house must follow are intricately detailed in the pages of the story.

The characters are alive and interesting and while the novel is described as following the popularity of the Downton Abbey craze that's ripping through the country right now, these types of novels have been in circulation for years now and are always a welcome read.  The complete separation of the classes is always interesting to today's society where the lines are extremely blurred.


Elizabeth was kind enough to provide the Dew with a  Q & A.... just for us!

Q&A for Dew on the Kudzu

1.     Do you listen to music when you write?  If so, could you create a “playlist” for the book?  What music did you listen to while writing?  Or what music does the book make you think of?

I have to write in absolute silence. It’s always been that way – even when I was at school I couldn’t listen to music when doing my homework or revising for exams. Having said that, music is a good historical reference for a novel. I just wrote a chapter where the John Gould character is listening to a song by a ‘new pianist’ – Irving Berlin.

2.     What authors have inspired your work?

‘The Stand’ by Stephen King made a great impression on me all those years ago. A big-landscape, ‘big issue’ book with a huge cast of characters, each meticulously observed. But the plot drove it forward. That book taught me a lot. It showed me that you can fully round out your characters and still have a sizzling, fast-paced plot.

I’m also an admirer of Julian Barnes. ‘Arthur and George’ was fantastic. Then also Kazuo Ishiguro. ‘Remains of the Day’ is just sublime.

3.     Do you have a favorite character from the book?

Oh my gosh, that’s hard.  I have a soft spot for them all.

4.     Which character do you think you are most like?

Even harder! Probably Octavia, because all my life I’ve tended to toe the line when I was really quite rebellious underneath. 

5.     What’s next for you? Will there be a sequel?
I’m now 70% through the sequel. It’s May 1915 and oh my Lord, so dramatic.  I’m loving it. And I’ve made myself cry twice. I never  cry while writing…….