Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park

Book Cover: The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park
The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park
Elizabeth Cooke
July 1, 2014
Berkeley Trade Paperback Original

Idgie Says:
The first book in this series was of course compared to Downtown Abbey - as all things similar are always compared.  I have never watched the show but from what I hear it has some rather salacious things going on.  This novel, and the previous one, are set in the same time period and have the Upstairs/Downstairs set of people as the show, (both shows actually, wasn't there one actually called Upstairs/Downstairs?)   but I have to say that even though there's "drama" in the pages, it's a genteel, proper, quietly dealt with drama.  Even the crying is delicate.  I'll be honest, I never "felt" the angst.  

But, it is a beautifully written book, with characters you can enjoy or dislike as you will and some great historical information intertwined.  I personally just had a difficult time connecting with them.  As always - just my opinion - others could read the book and perhaps feel every twist of the heart knife.

Book Description:
When May came that year in Rutherford, it was more beautiful than anyone could ever remember. More beautiful, and more terrible . . .

From inside their sprawling estate of Rutherford Park, the Cavendish family had a privileged perspective of the world. On the first morning in May, 1915, with a splendid view that reached across the gardens to the Vale of York, nothing seemed lovelier or less threatening. And yet . . .

At the risk of undoing the Cavendish name with scandal, William and Octavia Cavendish have been living a lie, maintaining a marriage out of duty rather than passion. But when their son Harry joins the Royal Flying Corps in France, the Cavendish family are forced to face the unavoidable truths about themselves, the society in which they thrive, and the secrets they can no longer bear.

In the wake of a terrible war, the emotional shifts between a husband and a wife, a wife and her lover, and a mother and her children, will shake the very foundation of the Cavendish family, and change the uniquely vulnerable lives of all who reside at Rutherford Park.