The Avid Reader
, December 04, 2017
(view all comments by The Avid Reader)
Secrets of Cavendon by Barbara Taylor Bradford is fourth book in Cavendon Chronicles Series. It is June in 1949 at Cavendon Hall. Countess Cecily Swann Ingham is working to make the property profitable and for them to be able to pay the upcoming taxes. Lady Daphne objects to how commercial Cavendon Hall is becoming and decamps with her husband to Switzerland. Lady Cecily must now stay on at Cavendon Hall full time while managing her business, Cecily Swann Couture long-distance which has been struggling since the war ended. Lady Cecily decides to create a new collection using the gardens at Cavendon Hall as inspiration. Alicia Ingham Stanton is starting a new film and is taken by Adam Fennell, the associate producer. Can Adam be the love of her life? Victoria is busy doing photo shoots and is intrigued by her latest subject, Christopher Langdon. Lady Daphne’s family is worried about her health, but she is evading their questions. Life is never dull for the Swann and Ingham families. Come see how they are faring in Secrets of Cavendon.
Secrets of Cavendon did not feel as if it was written by Barbara Taylor Bradford. It lacked focus and jumped around from character to character (and kept introducing more people). The last 15% of the book was the most interesting. I was never pulled into the story the way I was with other works by this author (A Woman of Substance for example). Before embarking on Secrets of Cavendon, you need to have read the first three books in the Cavendon Chronicles Series (or you will be utterly lost in the beginning). The story dwells on Lady Cecily trying to keep the estate afloat. There is a lack of action until the end of the book when a murder occurs. Most of the characters lack depth, and they are all very similar (and felt fake). Many of them are superficial and do not add to the story. It is easy to predict how the book will turn out (it is expected). I found many of the same details repeated throughout the story (like filler) along with information from the previous books in the series. I do feel that Barbara Taylor Bradford accurately portrayed the financial woes that befell many great estates after World War II. Otherwise, I was not impressed with Secrets of Cavendon. I will hesitate before picking up another book by this author (she used to be one of my favorites).