The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park [NOOK Book]


“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...
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The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park

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“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.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Praise for Wild Dark Flowers:
"A charming, intriguing novel. Some scenes are reminiscent of two popular TV series, Upstairs, Downstairs, and Downton Abbey, which have similar subject matter. Her research is excellent. The various battle scenes in France are completely riveting, and her portrayal of the sinking of the Lusitania is heartrending. This book is a perfect summer read." —Historical Novel Society

"Simply delicious...Like “Downton” addictive as a soap opera." Record-Courier

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101593127
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 50,315
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

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 Dales—Bronte country—and her grandfather worked at Kiplin Hall there, 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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Highly recommended series.

    Love this series. Wonderful characters, fascinating history, and great romance. Excellent!! Another great historical fiction is the Indie Medallian Award winning book The Partisan by William Jarviss. This book is based during WWII. It also has strong male and female characters. It also is based on an actual historical figure. Also, it includes a wonderful romance. Both books deserve A+++++++++

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  • Posted July 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Elizabeth Cooke has written a noble, admirable follow-up novel t

    Elizabeth Cooke has written a noble, admirable follow-up novel to Rutherford Park: A Novel.  The stereotypical characters and events of old are all about to be blown to bits!
    Harry Cavendish has grown up as a Dad and now is about to serve as a member of the Royal Flying Corps fighting in World War I in 1915.  The world’s not a pretty place at all and aristocracy and servants are all expected to “do their part” in the war effort at home and abroad.  The dreams, the fantasies and the reality unfold in amazing, step-by-step scenes that grip the reader’s full attention and participation immediately, never flagging throughout the 300+ pages that follow.
    Harry’s mother, Octavia, has dramatically changed.  She’s suffered a tremendous loss of her great love, lives amid the frozen shambles of a marriage and is trying to find purpose in her life. She’s a suffragette before her time and begins making a difference on the home front by forcing healthy and safe changes in those who work in the family business.  William, her husband, must face reality to recover from a broken heart, a truth previously hidden by the “stiff upper lip” so much part of the problem with the upper class in England at that time.
    Servants and even the town’s chaplain join the military as well; their descriptions of before and after the “Great War” are brutally surrealistic but oh so real!
    Octavia’s lover, John, writes letters to his love every day and is about to make the most pivotal journey of his life, a stunning portion of this powerful novel in so many ways.
    The Wild Dark Flowers: A Novel of Rutherford Park is a very well-crafted story involving changes that force several conclusions about war and relationships but do so in a style full of tension and evolving progress.  The characters in this novel have depth as we share their brutal and tender reflections about this memorably turbulent time. One can’t stop turning the pages of this very engaging novel – loved every page of it and know readers will as well! Fine, fine historical fiction!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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