The Cavendon Women
by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Page Count: 400
Release Date: March 24, 2015
How got: free copy from publisher
First attention getter: again, the pretty cover
Cavendon Women, the stunning sequel to Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Cavendon Hall follows the Inghams’ and the Swanns’ journey from a family weekend in the summer of 1926 through to the devastation of the Wall Street crash of 1929. It all begins on a summer weekend in July of 1926 when, for the first time in years, the earl has planned a family weekend. As the family members come together, secrets, problems, joys, and sorrows are revealed. As old enemies come out of the shadows and the Swanns’ loyalty to the Ingham gets tested in ways none of them could have predicted, it’s up to the Cavendon women to band together and bring their family into a new decade, and a new way of life.
Star Rating - Can we go into the negative region??
I think I gave this book a fair shake at 31% completed before dropping it like a hot potato. It, unfortunately, has all the problems of book one and even slides down another notch by killing one of the nicer points of that same book. So here ya go on why I dropped this one…
The one bright point in this whole debacle of a book is the author still takes her time in the descriptions and beauty of 1920s rural England. The estate of Cavendon is beautifully described, and the fashions of the era are also lovingly brought to life. I could see everything in my mind’s eye, no problem.
Sadly, everything else in this book that I was exposed to sucks. The characterizations…. Oy vey! Just like in book one, everybody is two-dimensional (at best!) and stereotyped. There were no “Daphne” and “Hugo” equivalents in this book to save this side. Everyone was either super beautiful, courageous, loyal, and true to the family OR you were evil, ugly, and an egg-sucking traitor.
Even just having a dissenting opinion was enough to label you a traitor to the family and enough to get the cold shoulder from everyone. The individuals with this dissenting opinion was villainized and ostracized as soon as those opinions were voiced. Talk about “family loyalty”… I mean if you can’t have a different opinion and still feel loved with family members, than who can you with??
Then there’s the story itself. We’re right back to the inane melodramas of the first two thirds of book one, only without the powerful events like Daphne’s “devastating” event. The biggest plot points by the time I quit was petty theft and marrying outside your class. Maybe in another work, these might have been enough to carry the story, but not with this work or author.
I’m sorry to say that these two works were my introduction to the author. Sad to say, they don’t shine a good light on her as a writer. Maybe she was just in slump when these works oozed out of her pen, but don’t start with them if you haven’t read the author before. Horribly flat characterizations, inane plot points, and just bad writing bog this work down, like book one. Pass on this one.
Note: Book received for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. (Again, very honest, was I!!)