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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a find!
I'm so pleased I decided to buy 'Ravenscliffe', and even more pleased that browsing through it decided to download 'Netherwood' on to my Kindle so that I could read that first! What an absolute treat - I was completely hooked. Just loved the narrative, when occasionally the writer introduces a tongue-in-cheek phrase, and the storyline is compulsive with well-rounded...
Published on 18 Nov. 2012 by D. C. A. Price

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars holiday reaad
Found it interesting but slow moving. very readable though taking you through some early history of working class and the changes beginning in the upper class - holiday read!
Published 15 months ago by Bee Payne


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a find!, 18 Nov. 2012
By 
D. C. A. Price "chrissie22" (Wharfedale) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Paperback)
I'm so pleased I decided to buy 'Ravenscliffe', and even more pleased that browsing through it decided to download 'Netherwood' on to my Kindle so that I could read that first! What an absolute treat - I was completely hooked. Just loved the narrative, when occasionally the writer introduces a tongue-in-cheek phrase, and the storyline is compulsive with well-rounded characters. I don't usually like books where speech is in dialect, but this was spot-on. I live in Yorkshire (though brought up in Lancashire ...sshhh) and recognised many of the expressions. 'Giddy kipper' is still in use in our family. I'm hoping this is a saga that's going to run and run, not stick at a trilogy (because there's surely another book coming soon) as I, and I'm sure many other readers, will be bereft when there's no more news of Eve, Anna, Daniel and Amos .. and of course the dastardly Silas and Absalom Blandford.
And I don't even like "Downton Abbey!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, but nothing wrong with that, 24 Sept. 2012
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Paperback)
I couldn't remember quite why I enjoyed Netherwood so much, or why I didn't find the rags-to-riches story of the widow of a Yorkshire miner at the turn-of-the century a little bit far-fetched. It only took a few pages of Ravenscliffe however to bring it all back, the author's wonderful writing and engaging characters immediately drawing you into the compelling world she depicts. If you've already read Netherwood and enjoyed it, you'll need no further recommendation. Ravenscliffe - despite the publisher's attempt to sell this as a standalone book - follows on directly from events in Jane Sanderson's delightful debut novel.

With the intentions of being a long-running series, Ravenscliffe doesn't advance significantly on the template that has been laid out by the earlier book, contrasting the lives of the Netherwood aristocracy with the conditions endured by the miners and their families. Following on from the last book, there's a Royal visit due at the Earl of Netherwood's estate, Eve has wedding preparations to take care of and a bakery business that is evidently going to continue to new heights. Her 12 year-old son Seth is stubbornly going to continue to make things awkward for her, as is the man she rejected, the Earl's bailiff Absalom Blandford. Amos is going to pursue his union activities and take them further into the political arena. Tobias is going to continue to pursue Thea and Henrietta is going to attempt to assert her independence against the prevailing expectations for the daughter of the aristocracy to make a good match and settle down as a dutiful wife. That much you will expect, and it all moves along fairly smoothly, with a few minor crises along the way that are suitably resolved without too much fuss, but even one or two more significant events barely raise more than a ripple.

Netherwood and Ravenscliffe may not be entirely realistic in this respect, but if the principal aim of the stories and the characters is to entertain with their adventures, it's also more than just a nostalgic period soap opera treatment. There underlying shifts happening in society around this time that play an important part in the direction the story follows, capturing the growing movement towards equal opportunities for the working classes and for women, through the suffragette movement and the decline in influence of the aristocracy. There is a revolution occurring in the background, breaking down class boundaries towards a more progressive industrial and mercantile society (the appearance of Eve's brother Silas opening this idea up further). Being rather more personal than social however in its striving to show a growing "spirit of independence", and appeal to a modern audience, Sanderson's view of this society could be seen as a little more indulgent of its characters, showing attitudes in some areas that are perhaps a little too liberal for the actual time.

That however that doesn't take away from the essential truths and the historical reality of the period, since it is just as important for Ravenscliffe to remain entertaining and readable fiction that a modern readership can relate to. There's nothing greatly different here then, although there is a shift away from Eve as the main character in this book, allowing other figures to come into prominence, and they prove to be just as interesting and well drawn. This is a good sign that bodes well for the series and one can see that it could quite easily move on in this way from one generation to the next as it progresses towards the Great War and perhaps beyond.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, hope there's more to come from Netherwood, 17 Oct. 2012
By 
Sharon (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Paperback)
Although Ravenscliffe is described as a standalone sequel meaning that it could be read as a sequel or on its own, I'm glad that I did decide to buy a copy of Jane Sanderson's debut novel Netherwood to read first though so that I would have a background to the central characters, Eve and Anna.

The story picks up where Netherwood left off with Eve and Anna living together following the loss of their respective husbands. Eve's business is expanding rapidly and she cannot keep up with demand so when the Earl offers to set her up in the mill, she gladly takes him up on his offer.

Meanwhile Anna has set her sights on living in Ravenscliffe, an empty house on the Netherwood estate, with Eve and their families as it's cramped living in Eve's former marital home. When her flair for design is spotted, she is soon recruited by the Countess to oversee the decoration of several rooms in Netherwood Hall.

For Eve and Anna this is a new beginning for them both enabling them to build new lives for their families, lives that are completely different to the ones they'd anticipated they'd be living when they were younger. But both women have proved that they can make it on their own and overcome the many obstacles that have appeared in their paths, and things are certainly looking rosier for their futures, both personally and professionally.

There are quite a few characters to get your head around in the book, from Eve, Anna and their families, their suitors, the mining community, Eve's work colleagues at the mill as well as the residents of Netherwood Hall, both the aristocratic family upstairs and their staff downstairs, but despite this it is an easy story to follow.

One of my favourite characters was Henrietta, the Earl's daughter, who is a young women ahead of her time with ideas as to the way she wants to live her life rather than the way she's expected to live it, and there's more to her friendship with her brother's fiance Thea than meets the eye...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of fantastic characters, 6 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Paperback)
There are quite a few characters to get your head around in Ravenscliffe, from Eve, Anna and their children to the people of Netherwood Hall, both upstairs and downstairs, plus the other residents of Netherwood. But soon the characters (and their varied stories) were fully formed in my head and I had no problems keeping up. I was so absorbed with the lives of the inhabitants of Netherwood and they were so real and vivid it was like watching a costume drama in my head.

There are many fantastic characters in Ravenscliffe, whether they are good, honest people like Eve or dastardly like bailiff Absolom Blandford. I really liked Anna, who was so independent and strong-minded and the Earl of Netherwood who seemed kind hearted but my favourite character was the Earl's daughter, Henrietta. Henrietta was much more broad-minded than the rest of her family, doing her best to shun what was expected of her as an Earl's daughter and standing by what she believed was right and fair. She is a strong woman, particularly given her position in society at that time.

I haven't read Netherwood, which is set before Ravenscliffe, but it didn't hinder the story and I didn't feel like I was missing any information. However, as Ravenscliffe was such a fantastic read, I would love to go back and read Netherwood to see how it all began. Ravenscliffe is a well-written and thoroughly researched novel that I didn't want to end so I'm hoping there will be a third instalment set in Netherwood from Jane Sanderson as I'm itching to know what happens next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Triumph!, 6 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Paperback)
Having read Netherwood, Jane Sanderson's earlier novel, which I deemed my best book of 2011, I eagerly awaited Ravenscliffe, and couldn't put it down. It drew me in from Chapter 1, and is well on the way to becoming my best read of 2012.

The book is wonderfully written, vith vivid descriptions of the surroundings, and of the many interesting characters, who are so believeable. The novel begins with Eve Williams' friend Anna encouraging her to speculate, to take a few risks, and to look at the possibility of moving from the tiny house, which is home to both their families, and to develop her small, but successful business further. Eve sees the problems, and Anna the solutions, and so the story begins in earnest, with all the twists and turns of a good novel.

Jane Sanderson has very cleverly interwoven major historical events, and social and politicas shifts in the early part of the 19th century, with the story of Eve Williams' family struggles and triumphs, as well as the triumphs and tribulations of the Hoyland family, headed by the Earl of Netherwood. I loved catching up with favourite characters from Netherwood, and welcomed twists in the plot brought about by new characters; Eve's brother Silas, Tobias' American fiancee and her mother, and the fantastic French chef, Claude Reynaud...not forgetting the King and his mistress.

Ravenscliffe is a brilliant book; I'm sure it'll stand alone, but for me part of the enjoyment was in having read Netherwood first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so grim up North!, 21 Jun. 2013
By 
Felicity Morte (South Yorks, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Paperback)
I enjoyed Netherwood immensely, and when prompted by my Amazon recommendations to buy Ravenscliffe, I did so. I recognised the similarities between Netherwood & Wentworth Woodhouse (a phoenix currently rising from the ashes) and the surrounding areas, and as a result, found it easy to engage with the story & characters. I felt Ravenscliffe flowed on quite seamlessly from the first book, and found both books easy going, all round entertainment.
I feel Jane Sanderson must be congratulated for not being tempted to present the 'grim up north' view portrayed in so many of the coal mining, kitchen sink genre. She has successfully sucked the misery from the subject, and presents characters with whom the reader can engage. Further to her credit, she doesn't present the working class people as inarticulate mechanicals. I fully intend to buy the third book in the series, and endorse the views expressed by other reviewers that the BBC should consider serialisation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Page Turner, 26 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Paperback)
Having already read Jane Sanderson's 'Netherwood' I was waiting for this book to appear and I was not disappointed. The characters are very well drawn, particularly the courageous men and women of the mining community. Their courage and strength in coping with all that life threw at them is written with empathy and humour and true Yorkshire grit - and the accuracy of the Yorkshire dialect was a pleasure to read since many authors make it difficult to read or to make it sound false. The contrast with the aristocratic family who owned the big house is well defined and their strengths - and weaknesses also grab your attention. If you enjoy a good historical novel with a story that grips your attention, features a glimpse into the social history at the beginning of the 20th Century and leaves you wanting more - then give this book a try!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it, 15 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Kindle Edition)
I read the first book, Netherwood, and was waiting for the second to come out. I do hope there is a third, I really want to know what happens next.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written book covering an exciting time in British History, 18 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book. I was already acquainted with the characters from Netherwood and was more than happy to rejoin them on their
continuing journey. I found the characters to be warm and real but also strong, especially the women. They did the best they could
with the talents they had as women have since time immemorial. The characters of Eve and Anna complemented each other so
well, and the trust and interdependence in their friendship was convincing. The gentle love stories which were woven into the main
story progressed gradually and beautifully to a fitting conclusion. The fact that other less pleasant characters were introduced made
the whole story even more believable. I really enjoyed the time in which the story was set as it was a time of growth of the Union movement, women's emancipation and the realisation that the working class was having a bad deal. The hardship of the miners and their families was clearly brought out. The fact that my own father was born in 1906 and was a working-class man and would have grown up through all these great changes made it even more interesting for me. I imagined talk around his family's dinner table of unions and rights for the workers.
More than anything it appealed that Eve's and Anna's hard work and enterprise and Anna's vision paid off . They were prepared
to work hard, take chances and use initiative to improve their lot. I can only applaud that. At times they found themselves through their loved ones on different sides of the fence and they had to find ways to deal with this.
A great hit for me. I was loathe to leave these people behind as they had become friends but I really needed to see where their
lives lead them!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, 7 Dec. 2012
By 
Wendysue (South Croydon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ravenscliffe (Paperback)
Sometimes continuations end up as a damp squib but not this one. I finished Netherwood wishing there was more and now there is, although it stands alone too. Good story telling. When is the next one due?!
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Ravenscliffe
Ravenscliffe by Jane Sanderson (Paperback - 27 Sept. 2012)
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