I have received a free e-copy of the book The Rufford Rose by Margaret Lambert to review.
Here is the book blurb.
When gifted young woodcarver Cuthbert Watts is sent to assist in the building of a new hall in Lancashire in 1530 little does he realise what difficulties lie ahead. The Master builder, Abel, resents his presence, refusing to see his work whilst Abel’s apprentice, Will is a lazy, jealous young man who thwarts Cuthbert at every turn. Supported by his fellow workers Cuthbert perseveres and after saving his life, befriends the young son of the owner, another reason for Abel to hate him. What is the reason behind this animosity? What great secret dominates Abel and Will’s life to the extent that lives are threatened, jealousies grow and violence, arson, kidnap and murder are committed?
Set in the Lancashire countryside in the 16th century this is a story which combines the practical difficulties of building a Tudor Hall with the loves and jealousies of those involved. When will Abel realise the value of Cuthbert’s work, when will Will realise he is not who he believes he is and can Cuthbert win the heart of the girl he loves. Follow Cuthbert through the trials and challenges of his new life and discover whether the hall can finally be completed.
This book is set in Lancashire back in the 1500s. For the first few chapters, the storyline runs in parallel setting the scenes introducing us to the Hesketh family and to Cuthbert, a gifted carpenter. We get to understand why the new Lord Hesketh has commissioned his new home to be built at Rufford. And we follow Cuthbert’s path from Chester, via Whalley Abbey to Rufford.
There at Rufford, the main body of the story takes place, as Rufford Hall is being built. Abel the master builder is resentful of having Cuthbert foisted onto him by Lord Derby. Meanwhile Will, Abel’s lazy apprentice starts by playing petty tricks on Cuthbert, but this spirals out of control. However Cuthbert becomes great friends with everyone else and manages to continue his wood carving. How will it all progress?
I could tell that the author had invested huge effort in the research of Tudor building methods. It was all so detailed and vividly brought the story to life for me. In comparison, I was surprised that we were told Thomas Hesketh had divorced his first wife. I may be wrong but I thought divorce wasn’t invented until Henry VIII wanted a way to get rid of Catherine of Aragon.
Reading about Cuthbert’s time at Whalley Abbey brought back memories from many years ago of visiting the ruins. So of course, I had to look up Rufford and I’ve found that Rufford Old Hall is now in the care of the National Trust. I definitely plan to visit whenever I’m next in that area of the country.
This book is available on Amazon currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A fascinating read. Highly recommended.
Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.