I pride myself on giving honest reviews while trying to at least find one positive point in books that I otherwise didn't like. Sometimes this can be quite difficult. With that being said, Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford felt more like a chore than a fun exercise to me. This isn't because Bradford is a terrible writer. Some of her descriptive prose was absolutely beautiful. She's especially eloquent when it comes to scenery and clothes. For me, she didn't deliver when it came to the characters and the plot. This is the first book I've ever read by this author but I understand from her bio that she's quite prolific and is in fact a #1 New York Times bestselling author (if that means anything to you). She's even been awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth for her contributions to literature. Perhaps that is why I was doubly disappointed by this book. She's been lauded as being so fantastic but I found her characterization to be unbelievable and fake while the storyline was utterly predictable and boring. From the first few pages, I knew that the book would be a struggle for me. A few years back, I reviewed Below Stairs by Margaret Powell which was the inspiration for Downton Abbey. Cavendon Hall felt like a sub par ripoff of the show. That rankled. The story revolves around an aristocratic family called the Inghams and the family they've employed on the Cavendon estate for 170+ years, the Swanns. It's set during the Great War in the county of Yorkshire in Northern England. Something terrible happens at the start of the novel and the remainder is dealing with the aftermath.