“Rutherford Park”, a novel by Elizabeth Cooke was the latest novel that I’ve read. It is set in England the year before the start of the First World War. The story begins at Rutherford Park, a manor house in the English countryside, on Christmas Eve, 1913. Rutherford is the home of Lord William and Lady Octavia Cavendish and their children, Harry, Louisa and Charlotte. Also in the home are scores of servants that are paid a pittance to see to the needs of the manor’s owners. Of course, like so many manor houses in England at this time period, this home and grounds have been in the Cavendish family for decades.
I found it hard to get started in the book, but I persevered and was rewarded at the end. It was very enlightening to realize the vast differences between the lords’, their ladies’ and the servants’ lives. The servants’ main chore was seeing to the comfort of the noble family members. Even though I liked the lady of the manor, I was still put off by the treatment of the servants.
Events in the lives of William and Octavia began calmly enough. However, the further I read the more sensational they became. Everyone in the family was caught up in the experiences of the times.
Even though I had a hard time getting into the story, by the end I was glad I kept at it. This family was certainly dysfunctional. I would recommend this book if you are interested in the pre-war period of the early 1900’s and the life experiences of the nobility and servant classes.
I was sent this free print book from NightOwlReviews.com in return for my honest review.