Berkley Publishing Group, Paperback, 9780425262580, 329pp.
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
For the Cavendish family, Rutherford Park is much more than a place to call home. It is a way of life marked by rigid rules and lavish rewards, governed by unspoken desires...
Lady of the house Octavia Cavendish lives like a bird in a gilded cage. With her family's fortune, her husband, William, has made significant additions to the estate, but he too feels bound--by the obligations of his title as well as his vows. Their son, Harry, is expected to follow in his footsteps, but the boy has dreams of his own, like pursuing the new adventure of aerial flight. Meanwhile, below stairs, a housemaid named Emily holds a secret that could undo the Cavendish name.
On Christmas Eve 1913, Octavia catches a glimpse of her husband in an intimate moment with his beautiful and scandalous distant cousin. She then spies the housemaid Emily out in the snow, walking toward the river, about to make her own secret known to the world. As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, an epic tale of longing and betrayal is about to unfold at Rutherford Park...
Elizabeth's family originates in the North Yorkshire Dales - Bronte country - and her grandfather worked at Kiplin Hall, where he was one of the "downstairs" staff. His life, and Yorkshire itself - both its outstanding natural beauty and the industrial life of its mill towns and cities - were the inspiration for "Rutherford Park." Elizabeth is currently working on the second Rutherford book.
“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