Thursday, January 10, 2019

Review: Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford (audio)

Title: Secrets of Cavendon
Author: Barbara Taylor Bradford
Series: Cavendon Hall, #4
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Published: November 2017, Macmillan Audio / St. Martin's Press
Length: 13 hours 10 minutes / 390 pages
Source: Audio - borrowed via Library / Print - Hardcover via GetRed PR


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford, comes a striking, breathtaking saga featuring the aristocratic Inghams and the Swann family, who have loyally served them for generations.
It’s the summer of 1949, and things have run smoothly at Cavendon Hall for years, with very few quarrels, dramas, or upsets between the two families. But since the end of World War II, changes have arrived at Cavendon. A new generation is at the helm, and also at the forefront of new scandal and intrigue. With romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and possible murder threatening to tear them apart, the Inghams and Swanns will have to find a way to come together and protect each other in the face of threats they never could have predicted.

Told with Bradford’s inimitable deftness of prose and a beloved cast of characters, Secrets of Cavendon is a captivating novel that will draw readers in and grip them until the very last page.

My thoughts: This is the fourth book in Barbara Taylor Bradford's Cavendon Hall series and I am so glad that she wrote this one. I had thought that the series was originally going to be a trilogy, so I was quite surprised when this book showed up.

If there is one thing Barbara Taylor Bradford does well, it's family saga and this series is definitely a testament to that. I devoured the first three books in this series and even though it's been a while since I read them, picking this book up was like revisiting old friends. Barbara Taylor Bradford gives just enough back story to refresh your memory on what has happened in the previous books so that any lingering threads will make sense. And if you are new to the story, she fills in just enough without rehashing the whole series, though I do highly recommend reading the earlier books for a more richer reading experience.

This book is so aptly named because we learn so many of the family secrets - finally! With family sagas, you expect lots of family secrets, and this series has been riddled with them, but many have not been revealed until now. And the revelations of them are so telling. We learn the reasons for why characters behave the way they do, why they choose to live where they do and why some relations are strained. It gives us so many answers to questions that have been lingering book after book.

I also loved that once again a cameo appearance was put in by my all-time favorite Barbara Taylor Bradford character, Emma Hart, though not in person this time like it was in the previous book. Even though she is only mentioned in conversation, she is still mentioned and that still counts for me. But, more importantly is that BTB kept true to Emma Hart's character which I so appreciated. If you have read any of the Woman of Substance series, you know what a tremendous mentor Emma is for Cecily in business, so of course she would reach out to her when she needed a guiding hand. I loved that my favorite character in the Cavendon series connected with my favorite character in the Woman of Substance series. And in a natural way.

As much as I would love for the Cavendon books to continue, I feel that this one might truly be the last. It just had that final, wrap-up type of feel to it. Maybe I'm wrong (and I would so love to be!) but I don't think so. In the meantime, though, I am excited because Barbara Taylor Bradford has a brand new series out - House of Falconer, and I have the first book, Master of Fate. I will most likely listen to this as I did with the Cavendon series because it was so enjoyable on audio. And then I think I want to reread or maybe listen to the Woman of Substance series's been years since I read that series. Have you read it?

Audio thoughts: This was a great audio to listen to and even though it was narrated by a different narrator than the previous three books, I still enjoyed the narration. I think Saskia Maarleveld did a great job with the voices and her pacing and intonation were spot on. I have listened to her before and know she does great work.

Books in this series:  

  1. Cavendon Hall
  2. The Cavendon Women
  3. The Cavendon Luck
  4. Secrets of Cavendon

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