Elizabeth Cooke lives in Dorset in southern England and is the author of twelve novels, including Rutherford Park. She has a long-established reputation for vivid storytelling and historical accuracy. Elizabeth's family originate in the North Yorkshire DalesBronte countryand her grandfather worked at Kiplin Hall there, where he was one of the "downstairs" staff. His life, and Yorkshire itselfboth its outstanding natural beauty and the industrial life of its mill towns and citieswere the inspiration for Rutherford.
I found myself addicted to Rutherford Park, much as I was to Downton Abbey” (Margaret Wurtele on Rutherford Park). Now comes the new novel of Rutherford Park by the acclaimed Elizabeth Cooke
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.
Praise for Rutherford Park:
“A breathtakingly beautiful book. Cooke portrays an aristocratic dynasty that in 1914 was poised on the brink of extinction, as ponderous as the huge dinosaurs but just as magnificent. The exquisite intimacy of the writing and of the haunting love story drew me into this elegant world so entirely that I couldn't imagine ever leaving it. The vivid characters and understated heartbreak of their conflicts, above and below stairs, are depicted with sensitivity and insight. Superbly researched, a real treat.”—Kate Furnivall, author of The Russian Concubine
“I found myself addicted to Rutherford Park, much as I was to Downton Abbey. I reveled in delicious detail about life in a great country estate, all the while waiting to learn: would Octavia’s family survive or would they be torn apart by the forces converging on them: personal failings, society’s excesses, and Europe’s Great War?”—Margaret Wurtele, author of The Golden Hour
“Beautiful, melancholy and richly detailed, Rutherford Park elegantly depicts the lives within an English country house on the cusp of a new age. Elizabeth Cooke evokes classic authors like Vita Sackville West and Frances Hodgson Burnett.”—Natasha Solomons, author of The House at Tyneford
“Reminiscent of Catherine Cookson, a heart-aching story of an old world order and class divides set against Edwardian England.”—Judith Kinghorn, author of The Last Summer
“With its vivid descriptions and memorable characters, Rutherford Park drew me in from the first page. Richly textured with historical details, the novel captures perfectly the pre-World War I mood and atmosphere of the grand Yorkshire house and the lives of those who inhabit it. The final page left me thoroughly satisfied, yet wishing for more. Thank you, Elizabeth Cooke, for a wonderful story and the promise of another.”—Kelly Jones, author of The Woman Who Heard Color
“Comparisons with Downton Abbey on the eve of WWI are inevitable, but Rutherford Park gives a more comprehensive and realistic look at the farms and mill villages that sustained the great houses and shows us the inevitable cracks in their foundations. Compelling.”—Margaret Maron, author of the Judge Deborah Knott series