Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford

This book stands alone. Read it. Fall in Love.
This book stands alone.
Read it.
Fall in Love.

I thoroughly enjoyed the shows “Downton Abbey” and “Upstairs, Downstairs”, so when I read the synopsis of this novel, I knew I would love it or hate it; by comparison. Bradford’s novel is its very own story of a family and their caretakers.
Bradford weaves the web of lives, secrets and lies between Servants and the Upper Class at Cavendon Hall, and of English Society from 1913-1920;. I could not believe the abundance of storylines Bradford’s novel had to share. Each of them could have been their own novel. I had to read the last paragraph and line a few times; hoping for a second book. I wanted to know what happens to Miles and his love for Cecily.
Occasionally you fall in deep serious like with a novel, and this is one of them! I enjoyed each character in Bradford’s novel, just as you do on the television screen. A great writer helps you paint a picture! Bradford’s was beautiful. I may have disliked some characters, like Deidre and Felicity, but; I will admit if I like everyone something gets lost in the story. I already miss them, as you miss the season break between “Downton Abbey”. The question is, will there be a wine and tea named “Cavendon Hall”! I think there should be, or Bradford needs to consider it! If there is, I would enjoy a glass of wine or cup of tea as I learn of the life of Daphne and Hugo. What becomes of Charles? Charlotte?
The Ingham’s are the family of the house, while the Swann’s run the house. To be fair, the Ingham’s needed the Swann’s; just as the Swann’s needed the Ingham’s. They share an oath that has been honored for centuries. This Oath has lived on for centuries, and each family member goes through a lot to uphold that solemn vow. The question is, can the deepest secrets between each person regarding an attack on Daphne Ingham before her ‘Coming Out” party. Will any of these lies make its way past the four walls of this house?
While I sensed a bit of boredom more than half-way through the novel; I am so pleased that I finished it. Everything was neatly wrapped up in unexpected ways. I believe I got “bored” because I thought I knew where Bradford was going with the storyline. But,
I was wrong. Do not compare “Cavendon Hall” to the television shows you believe this novel to be similar to. It stands Alone.
Read it. Go Fall In Love.

Social Death by Tatiana Boncompagni

Tatiana introduced us to a female lead character with plenty of; what many of us would consider “moral flaws”.  This made her very real to me, and not just some fictional character that was created on paper.  She was a very relatable character.  I liked her.  A lot.

Cornelia “Clyde” Shaw is the new lead character in Tatiana’s third novel, and I swallowed this book whole.  I finished it in two sittings!

This novel is based on Clyde becoming wrapped up in the story of her lifetime.  She was the lead producer of any stories relating to brutal crimes at FirstNews, one of New York’s go to News Networks.

When she receives the call about the next crime she was to cover, little did she know it would be the vicioius murder of her lifelong best friend, Olivia Kravis.   This fast-paced, “turn the page as quickly as you can” novel took me inside the world of television news and all that it takes to really get the story.  Often, this involved getting anything on the screen!

The question is; can Clyde do this, since she was so close to the victim.

There was so much action between Network competitions, this book left no stone unturned. From leads and informants, to interviews and photographs my eyes were opened to a totally new way of looking at the news reports.  I was in awe of how truly intriguing it all was.

Both the first line and the last line in this book were sheer perfection.  The first line, was “telling it like it is” and the last line, was unexpected.

Startling!

“Did not see that coming”, is all I can say.  I have found that it is not often that a novelist can truly “shock” the reader these days.  Tatiana proved me wrong.

Clyde Series, Anyone?