Friday, February 7, 2014

G254 Book Review of Ravenscliffe by Jane Sanderson

Name of Book: Ravenscliffe

Author: Jane Sanderson

ISBN: 978-0-06-230037-9

Publisher: William Morrow

Part of a Series: Eve Williams

Type of book: 1904-1906, England, marriage, coal, union, rights, women's suffrage movement, deaths, decorating, home, getting used to stepparent

Year it was published: 2012

Summary:

For fans of Downton Abbey . . . The peaceful beauty of the English countryside belies the turmoil of forbidden love and the apprehension of a changing world for the families of Netherwood

Yorkshire, 1904. On Netherwood Common, Russian √©migr√© Anna Rabinovich shows her dear friend Eve Williams a gracious Victorian villa—Ravenscliffe—the house Anna wants them to live in. There’s a garden and a yard and room enough for their children to play and grow.

Something about the house speaks to Anna, and you should listen to a house, she believes…Ravenscliffe holds the promise of happiness.

Across the square, Clarissa and her husband, the Earl of Netherwood, are preparing for King Edward’s visit. Clarissa is determined to have everything in top shape at Netherwood Hall—in spite of the indolent heir to the estate, Tobias, and his American bride—and much of it depends on the work going on downstairs as the loyal servants strive to preserve the noble family’s dignity and reputation.

As Anna restores Ravenscliffe to its full grandeur, she strikes up a relationship with hardworking Amos Sykes—who proposed to Eve just one year ago.

But when Eve’s long-lost brother Silas turns up in their close-knit mining community, cracks begin to appear in even the strongest friendships.

As change comes to the small town and society at large, the residents of Netherwood must find their footing or lose their place altogether.

Characters:

The main characters would include Anna who discovered her own talent at painting and decorating, then there's Eve who opened up the infamous Eve's Pies and Puddings as well as Henrietta, eldest daughter of Earl of Netherwood who's unmarried and instead of her brother should have been an earl instead and really comes into her own when she discovers that she wants to participate to free women. The male characters would be Seth, Eve's son who seems to have talent for gardening, Earl of Netherwood who has a loving and giving nature, and Amos who's looking for rights for miners and is shy to tell a lady of his feelings. There are minor personages such as Tobias's American wife by the name of Thea who enjoys breaking all the etiquette rules and who is also very manipulative, and Silas who is wealthy and can't satisfy his own greed.

Theme:

Don't give up on life and dreams

Plot:

Its written in third person narrative from everyone's point of view, although important characters are given a lot of screen time such as Eve and Anna, then Henrietta, Earl of Netherwood, Seth, Clarissa and some of the domestic staff. The way the ending is written as well as some situations is reminiscent of the ending of Netherwood in my opinion but still I loved watching the characters grow. Unlike in Netherwood there are some setbacks and new and interesting characters appear such as Silas who happens to be Eve's younger brother, and there are more tragedies in the book as well as more deaths and surprises which I won't spoil.

Author Information:
(from TLC)

A former BBC radio producer, married to author and journalist Brian Viner, Jane Sanderson has used some of her own family history as background for her first novel.
Find out more about Jane at her website and follow her on Twitter.
Opinion:

This is a sequel to Netherwood, and while it does have things in common with it, there are some things that are tantalizingly different. The story immediately picks up from Netherwood where the King finally decided to grace his visit on the Earl and his wife Clarissa, and both Anna and Eve decide to get a mansion by the name of Ravenscliffe and as soon as they can, they move in. Its a much longer read, but I enjoyed it a lot more, although I had some difficulty in recalling which of the servants didn't marry and decides to put Mrs. in front of the name. Despite that minor problem, I had a very easy time keeping in my mind who's who in the book and their function. I would guess the characters are very memorable, or else the important ones get a lot of screen time which made it easy to remember them. Here also we see characters grow and come into their own. (At this point I really wish to read Eden falls, the sequel to Ravenscliffe to see how Henrietta grows...) A lively, safe and enjoyable read, although more tragic things happen in it than in Netherwood.

This is for TLC Book Tour

Ravenscliffe

Tuesday, January 28th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, January 29th: BookNAround
Thursday, January 30th: Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, February 4th: Mel’s Shelves
Wednesday, February 5th: Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, February 7th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, February 13th: Mom in Love With Fiction
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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