Edward Deravenel is the typical golden boy. Rich, educated and
good-looking, the world in 1904 Yorkshire is his oyster until
tragedy strikes. When his father, younger brother, uncle and cousin
are killed in a mysterious fire in Italy, Edward --- affectionately
known as Ned by those who love him --- combines forces with another
cousin, Neville Watkins, to get to the bottom of the matter.
As horrible as the thought is, Edward and Neville soon discover
that the "accident" may well be due to an opposing branch of the
Deravenel family, the Deravenel Grants from Lancashire. An age-old
feud between the two branches seems to have culminated in this
tragedy, which has a life-altering impact on Edward's life.
In accordance with family tradition and company law, Edward is
obligated to leave his studies at Oxford, take over his father's
position with the company and investigate the deaths of his family
Edward and Neville are joined by old family friend Will, and the
three form a formidable trio to solve the mystery and wrestle back
control of the business that rightly belongs to the Yorkshire
branch of the family.
THE RAVENSCAR DYNASTY is rife with memorable characters, family
tradition and the ties that bind. The love and closeness that make
this family a power to be reckoned with are apparent on every page.
As usual, Barbara Taylor Bradford has a way of transporting us back
in time to another age rich with historical detail.
Just when it seems that all is well, tragedy strikes again.
Throughout the book, intrigue abounds and Edward must keep his own
counsel as he decides who is to be trusted and who is not. There's
Margo Grant, the domineering French wife and matriarch of the
Lancashire Deravenel Grants who would like nothing more than to
secure the company for her own selfish means. There are those on
the payroll whose loyalty and honor are suspect. Even those closest
to Edward are not to be trusted as he makes his way through a maze
of intrigue and deceit.
Edward's love life also provides plenty of interesting reading.
From a variety of mistresses to his jealous and shrewish wife, we
see the impact his choice in women will have on his life. Luckily
there is one lady who can be trusted: his mother, the formidable
Cecily Deravenel, who will do what it takes to hold the family
together and ensure their success after the tragic death of her
husband and son.
THE RAVENSCAR DYNASTY is the first in a new series by Bradford, who
draws on her early life in Yorkshire to be able to write about this
lovely part of England so convincingly. If this installment is any
indication, we can look forward to more page-turning developments
in the two books to follow in this trilogy as we become more deeply
embroiled with this rich and powerful family of the Edwardian
Reviewed by Amie Taylor on January 23, 2011