The Wild Dark Flowers
Published in July 2014.
This is the second in the 'Rutherford Park' series. We meet the Cavendish family again, and their downstairs staff in the late spring of 1915. The war in France has become a monstrous drain of human life and all those at Rutherford are affected by it; from Harry, the heir, fighting with the Royal Flying Corps, through to the sensitive David Nash enlisting in Kitchener's New Army and steeling himself against what is to come. Passions run deep throughout the house - from Octavia, struggling to be a dutiful mother and wife despite her love for John Gould, to the Jack Armitage's adoration of Louisa, the eldest Cavendish daughter. Across the Atlantic, we also see John Gould make a life-changing decision.....
Also writing as Elizabeth McGregor and Holly Fox
Facebook page : Elizabeth Cooke Twitter: CookeElizabeth
For the past two years I've been working on RUTHERFORD PARK and its sequel THE WILD DARK FLOWERS, which I'm happy to say has just been published. Both books are published under the Berkley imprint of Penguin USA. See my links page, or go through to www.barnesandnoble.com & amazon.com)
'a breathtakingly beautiful book' - Kate Furnivall
'I found myself addicted to Rutherford Park much as I was to Downton Abbey' - Margaret Wurtele
'Beautiful...elegantly depicts the lives within an English country house on the cusp of a new age' - Natasha Solomons
It's been a fantastic experience for me, more so now that I know that RUTHERFORD PARK has been so well received. To everyone who has blogged and reviewed, thank you! I hope that that you also find THE WILD DARK FLOWERS even more dramatic, poignant and interesting than before. We follow the Cavendishes and their staff into WW1, and the story begins in May 1915.
The novel is dedicated to my mother's eldest brother, William David Nash, who enlsited in 'Kitchener's Army' in the Border Regiment and was sadly killed on 1st July 1916.
If you enjoy history, take a look through my other novels, too. Writing as 'Elizabeth McGregor' I've covered some diverse subjects, among them the Franklin expedition of 1845 (THE ICE CHILD); the Victorian painter Richard Dadd (THE GIRL IN THE GREEN GLASS MIRROR); and the plant explorer Ernest Wilson (A ROAD THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS).
The whole idea for RUTHERFORD PARK began with my grandfather's experiences of working for a large country house in Yorkshire during the Edwardian period, and the fictional Cavendishes grew out of my memories of that. The book had actually been in my mind for over twenty years and I'm thrilled that it's now sprung into life; grateful too for my guardian angels who made it happen - Wendy McCurdy and Liv Blumer in New York, and my UK agent Laura Longrigg at MBA.
My first non-fiction book, THE DAMNATION OF JOHN DONELLAN was published in the States in October 2012 and received - among others - a great review from the Wall Street Journal.
'..Cooke's analysis is a masterpiece...fascinating....gripping....'
A major thrill was the review by Iain Finlayson in The Times : 'True life period crime is gruesomely well served by this forensic examination of a death in 1780...Cooke's analysis is a masterpiece.' On August 21st, Kathryn Hughes at the Mail On Sunday wrote : 'A fascinating account..a potent brew of resentment, loyalty and sexual bad behaviour...just as Kate Summerscale did in The Suspicions of Mr.Whicher, Cooke focuses on legal procedure and forensic evidence to gripping effect.'
I also have in mind now another non-fiction book, which I hope to be able to finish soon.
Please click on the 'Novels' section for details of each title; and the biography section for more details about me.
If you have a professional enquiry, I’m represented in London by Laura Longrigg at MBA (Contact www.mbalit.co.uk 0207 387 2076). In New York, I'm represented by The Blumer Literary Agency, Inc. (212-947-3040)
Thanks for your interest - and do email me via this site to tell me what you think of my work. Every view is always welcome (providing it's polite!). And I'm always intrigued by what others are reading, so tell me about books you're loving at the moment, as I read almost as much as I write.