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'Cavendon Hall' is a captivating journey
Cavendon Hall
"Cavendon Hall" is by Barbara Taylor Bradford. - photo by St. Martin's Press

 Editor’s note: For fans of the British period drama “Downton Abbey,” the fifth season can’t come too soon. In the meantime, this is one of half a dozen books — both novels and nonfiction — that have crossed our desks that have an upstairs/downstairs drama, are set in a similar era or may be of interest to fans of the historical series.

"CAVENDON HALL," by Barbara Taylor Bradford, St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 406 pages (f) 

The faithfulness, loyalties and friendship of two families — the Inghams and the Swanns — are tested in the captivating “Cavendon Hall,” set in Edwardian England prior to World War I.

The connection between the two families has roots extending hundreds of years. The Swanns have served the Ingham household since the First Earl of Mowbray adopted the family, allowing them to live on their land. Throughout time, and with each passing earl, the Ingham and the Swann households become intertwined in numerous ways.

There is heavy profanity toward the end of the novel from one angry character. Sex is a recurring theme, and several sexual encounters are detailed and referenced throughout the novel, including a rape.

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born in England, and “Cavendon Hall” is her 29th novel. She currently lives in New York City with her husband, Robert.