Wednesday 27 March 2019

Home to Cavendish by Antoinette Tyrrell. Poolbeg Press (2019)

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.


A hugely enjoyable debut novel that will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
I loved the ease in which the story went from Civil War Ireland to Celtic Tiger Ireland. The stories in both timelines had me completely hooked. I could sympathise with the young Edith and couldn't wait to find out what happened to her. 
I liked Elenore. She may have been a little pathetic initially while she was under the thumb of Donnacha but when his dodgy dealings and betrayals came to light she acted swiftly and didn't look back. Seeing Elenore getting her confidence back was a delight to read.
The small cast of side characters provided just the right amount of support but they also had well developed and interesting backstories. There's plenty of scope for a sequel with these characters. I'd love to revisit Cavendish and see how this group of friends are faring in 2019.

Home to Cavendish is out now and it's well worth buying print format for its gorgeous cover.

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