The setting brings to mind Downton Abbey in all its glory - the Inghams are very similar and the Swanns have served the family for generations. Their support, confidentiality and the trust that the family has in them goes well beyond the norm. This was the only difference I found from other aristocratic families. The two families are linked very closely and through the generations a strong physical relationship has developed between the two.
The present set up is idyllic. We have a large family of beautiful youngsters and a seemingly strong marriage. Everything is about to blow up with the tragedy of Daphne - the nicest, friendliest of the teenagers who is raped and made pregnant on their own grounds itself. How the story develops from there and alongside the personal story of the two families, the onset of WWI and the carnage, destruction and death that follows is beautifully and emotionally described in this story.
Taking us away from Edwardian England and the beginning of women's emancipation and independence the story will interest all readers of not just general fiction but history as well. This author certainly does not disappoint her readers.
I was thrilled to get this book from St. Martin's Press via Netgalley but was most disappointed when the second book request in the series was turned down. I thought that was totally unfair but then luck smiled on me and I got the second and third book directly from the Marketing Division of St. Martin's Press. Thank you for the books. I am certainly looking ever so much to reading the sequels.