Monday, August 08, 2016

Review: Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford (audio)

Title: Cavendon Hall
Author: Barbara Taylor Bradford
Series: Cavendon Hall, #1
Narrator: Anna Bentinck
Published: April 2014, Macmillan Audio / St. Martin's Press
Length: 13 hours 12 minutes / Paperback, 448 pages
Source: Personal copy via Audible / Publicist

From the #1 New York Times bestselling 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 readers riveted up to the very last page.

My thoughts: I have been a fan of Barbara Taylor Bradford ever since reading her Woman of Substance series so very long ago...and so when I was given the opportunity to read and review this latest trilogy, of course I said yes!!! My heart will always belong to Emma Hart, but I willing to give this new family a chance.

This is the first book in her latest trilogy and introduces us to the Ingham and Swann families. What I like about this setup is that it isn't just a straight-forward upstairs/downstairs type story. These families are more involved with each other - there's 150 years of history between the two families and they have been keeping each others secrets for that long. I do hope as this trilogy progresses, we learn some of those secrets!

As is typical with first books in any series, this first one takes quite a bit of time setting everything up, introducing us to the families and the key players. A few major incidents do occur, that I believe will set up some story lines for the rest of the series. 

I really liked this introduction to what I think will be a good series. The characters are many, but I think that is necessarily in order to keep things moving.  They are complex, flawed characters and I am looking forward to following them through the series. 

I think this is going to be a good series and am excited to continue on with it!

Audio thoughts:
This is the first time I've listened to Anna Bentinck narrate and I really enjoyed listening to her. I thought she did a great job with the voices and her pacing and tone were spot on. I am happy to see that she is narrating the entire trilogy - I really dislike when they switch narrators in the middle of a series!

Books in this series:
  1. Cavendon Hall
  2. The Cavendon Women
  3. The Cavendon Luck  



  1. Mm I like her too and loved the Woman of Substance series too. I can't get this one on Audible but can get book 2 so guess I'll need to read book 1 first. Sounds worth it.

  2. This sounds absolutely great! I love the cover and Barbara Taylor Bradford is an author I've yet to read. This definitely sounds like a good start to a series and sounds like a book I need to get.


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