Friday, April 28, 2017

The Wild Dark Flowers by Elizabeth Cooke

This book is exquisitely written of a time past as the war years approach and affect the lives of the people who live at Rutherford Park.  There is the story of Harry Cavendish and his child, Cecilia, by a servant which he finds difficult to deal with.  There is also the story of the servants and especially Josh and Jack Armitage, father and son, who look after the horses, especially Jack’s beloved horse, Wencelas.  Jack has also had a soft spot for Louisa, a daughter of the house-hold.  Louisa also featured in the first book of Rutherford Park and nearly brought her parents to grief with her impulsive actions when she was supposed to be staying with friends in London for the Season.
The story is particularly poignant as it also relates the tale, of Harrison, the footman, who left to join the war effort without even informing  His Lordhip, Lord Cavendish.  This follows his exploits in France and in particular in the trenches and mud of France.  He was so keen to leave Rutherford Park when he signed up but when he was in France he would have given anything for the peace and calm of the beautiful estate where he once lived and worked.
There is much to commend in this book as politics, the war, tragedy and the lives of ordinary people are swept along in a turmoil of events which occurred in the earlier days of the First World War.

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