R. Delderfield "Theirs Was the Kingdom"
Sourcebooks Landmark | English | September 1, 2009 | ISBN: 1402218222 | 704 pages | azw, epub, lrf, mobi | 5,83 mb
Adam Swann, founder of transport giant Swann-on-Wheels, sits beside his aged father's deathbed as this sequel to God Is an Englishman begins. His family with wife Henrietta is growing up indeed, his two oldest children have already left the nest. That leaves six at home. Adam and his beloved Hetty have their hands full with the challenges of rearing the rest of their brood, and of continuing to provide help and guidance to those they've already launched.
For Adam there's also the challenge of guiding the business he built from nothing, using a stolen ruby necklace as his starting capital, through an era in which technological advances are driving social change at a sometimes dizzying rate. Does this book take place in the 20th Century? Not at all. It plays out between 1878 and 1889.
Adam Swann is a surprisingly complex character, a man of business who nevertheless cares deeply about the social ills of his Victorian world. His relationship with Henrietta, and with his company's regional managers (whom he considers his other family not at all the typical attitude for an employer of that era!), drive many of the story's threads. The rest are taken up by the Swann children's passages into adulthood. This richly detailed and wonderfully authentic historical novel can be read on its own without difficulty, as I can attest because I read it without first reading God is an Englishman. I'm now eager to do that, however!