Expected publication: July 1st 2014 by Berkley Trade"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."
The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park has been compared to Downton Abbey. This is an excellent comparison as Rutherford is set during the same interesting historical timeframe and is an in-depth look at life on a large English estate during WW1. With rich lush descriptions, a mesmerizing sense of place, The Wild Dark Flowers had me hooked from page 1. Not just an intriguing character study but an eye opening social commentary on the changing times.
War is a great leveler: it affected everyone whether upstairs or downstairs, everyone has their story.
Cooke did a fabulous job of bringing her numerous characters to life and giving them a unique voice.
I loved the surprise ending and can't wait for the next book in the series Very enjoyable read. 4****
Even though this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone.
Elizabeth Cooke is a Goodreads author and can be found on her page. She can also be found on her webpage and on Facebook.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by The Penguin Group/Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.