The Irish Civil War is raging across County Cork, and sixteen-year-old Edith Cavendish, bored within the confines of her privileged life, embarks on a forbidden love affair with local rebel Tadgh Carey. But Edith is unaware of the dark secrets surrounding her, both outside Cavendish and within its walls, in the very rooms through which she walks.
Eighty years have passed, and Elenore Stack has inherited her beloved childhood home, Cavendish Hall, from her recently deceased parents. Charming and magical, if in need of much loving and expensive care, Cavendish is woven into the tapestry of Elenore’s life. She must somehow find a way to ensure its survival while preserving its dignity.
Then she meets and falls in love with Donnacha O’Callaghan, a property developer, and together they begin to work on changing Cavendish into the family guest house of her dreams. He, however, unbeknownst to her, has plans that will change the house beyond recognition and wipe away her precious childhood memories.
As Donnacha’s past shady dealings surface and the prospect of losing Cavendish looms once more, Elenore’s life begins to unravel. Then a fateful discovery in a forgotten corner of the house links her to a young woman from Cavendish’s past – Edith Cavendish – and becomes her lifeline.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This is a story set on two timelines with the link to both being the house where two young women, eighty years apart, grew up and found love. One couldn’t wait to get away while the other would do anything to keep the home that she had grown up in. Elenore had recently inherited her family home after the death of her parents but the extensive hall needed a huge amount of restoration to bring it back to its glory. Money Elenore hadn’t got.
When Donnacha O’Callaghan a property developer began to take interest in her she thought that his generosity in offering to help restore the place was out of love for her not capital gains for himself. He finds a hidden diary from eighty years ago, written by a young lady of the house and Elenore begins to find out the secrets the caused a young woman called Edith, to flee and never return home.
The story is set in Ireland with the original timeline taking place through the Irish civil war and the forbidden love between a young woman and a young local lad mixed up in the fighting. As Elenore reads the diary she discovers what life was like for the young couple as they met in secret. In present day she hears rumours about the man she is in love with.
This is a really beautifully written book that captures the hidden history of Cavendish Hall both past and present and how very different it is from then until now. I loved seeing how Eleanor grew from the nieve woman that she was into a woman with a cause. This story unravels slowly, and like Elenore grew in strength the more I read. I loved Edith, a woman born way before her time, she was so courageous. What a great end to the story too. A totally satisfying conclusion with every end tied off perfectly.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
1st February 2019 – An unlikely friendship between an ex-wife and a current girlfriend, an elderly female protagonist and the deep-rooted connections to our pasts, all underpin Home to Cavendish, the uplit novel from debut writer Antoinette Tyrrell.
Set in rural Ireland and moving between the turmoil of the Irish Civil War and the corruption of the Celtic Tiger years, Home to Cavendish is a story of survival and regeneration for two women faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges presented by the times in which they live.
Speaking about her inspiration for the novel, Antoinette said, ‘When I sat down to write Home to Cavendish, I was struck by the increasingly isolated state in which we all live. Glued to our mobile phones and laptops, a genuine human connection is often a victim of our times. Developing deep and genuine friendships is a challenge faced by many people, particularly as we get older and carry the demands of work and family. I set out to explore what happens when we open- up to friendships with people that are outside our perceived vision of who our friends should be. I built a group of characters divided by age, experience, and outlook, thrown together in difficult circumstances and let the plot weave them together in a story which is ultimately uplifting.’
Focusing on serious issues including toxic, controlling relationships, dealing with the death of loved ones and the intricacies of what ties us all to family and our pasts, Home to Cavendish portrays how seeking support in the most unlikely of places might be just what we need to get by.