The Jeweller's Wife by Judith Lennox
1938. As England awaits the outbreak of war, Juliet Winterton journeys from the Mediterranean to the Essex countryside to begin her life as the beautiful young wife of a London jeweller.
But beneath her husband's intelligence and ambition, lies a cruel and ruthless man. And when dashing politician Gillis Sinclair comes to stay at Marsh Court, Juliet is drawn to his irresistible charm.
So begins a passionate affair that will have consequences far beyond anything Juliet imagines. For Gillis Sinclair is hiding a dark secret and, as the next generation of Wintertons grows up, Juliet fears that they, too, will be tainted by the past...
The book spans the years from 1938 to the sixties. Juliet, left penniless when her father dies in Egypt attempts to sell her pearls and instead marries Jeweller Henry Winterton. Juliet loves their home at Marsh Court and settles for a loveless marriage. The couple have two children,Piers and Charlotte and we are taken through their lives and those of their cousins and friends.
It took me a while to get into this book. There are a lot of characters and families far too many to mention them all but there's a page at the front of the book you can refer to if you get confused.
Horrid Henry, as I came to call him was so rude and opinionated that even his own young son couldn't please him. Divorce just wasn't something that was done in those days or I expect Juliet would have been the first in the queue so instead of divorce she has an affair with Henry's best friend Gillis.
I found I grew tired of what was going on between them all and I became interested again when the children were grown up and started having their own problems.
Henry eventually causes the biggest problem which affects his son badly. I really wanted to shout at him at that point.
I found Juliet to be too passive and really wanted her to grow a backbone but maybe that was just a sign of those times when the husband was ruler in his home.
Worth a read if you're a Judith Lennox fan and halfway through I started to enjoy it more.