The story centers around the Bradfords, an old Kentucky family who are titans of the bourbon industry. The current generation of Bradfords are the children of Virginia Elizabeth Bradford Baldwine (she’s referred to as Mrs. Bradford, never mind her married name) and William Brandwine: Edward (the tragic and oldest one), Max, Tulane (Lane) and Gin. Each carries personal baggage in addition to the family’s but the primary focus was on Lane, his crumbling marriage to Chantal and his relationship with the estate’s head gardener, Lizzie King. There’s a ton of unrest behind the closed doors of Easterly, the family’s estate, that threatens to burst through into the public domain.
This was the most delicious soap opera, kind of a mashup of the television series Dallas & Empire! At times outrageous and always fascinating, I enjoyed meeting each of the members of this family and learning their histories along with the current conflicts. It promises to be a crazy ride as new secrets are revealed that threaten to bring scandal and unwanted attention to family matters. Lane and Lizzie’s developing romance struggles to survive in the midst of this chaos and often takes a back seat.
The narrator does a great job capturing the dialect of the region and the family, though his voice for most of the women isn’t the best. But he really nailed the storytelling and kept me riveted to this saga. I can’t wait to continue.
(I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an unbiased review)