Consider the Lily by Elizabeth Buchan was published in 1993.
The story begins in 1929 when cousins Matty and Daisy attend a wedding. They’ve been brought up together since Matty’s parents died. Daisy’s family is upper class but has fallen on hard times, like many, but Matty inherited a lot of money from her parents which has been quite handy for Daisy’s mother as Matty contributed to the family coffers, but Matty was never given any love or even appreciation.
Both cousins have fallen for the brother of the bride, but it’s the vibrant and vivacious Daisy that Kit is in love with. Kit is the only son, his father Sir Rupert is suffering from his experiences in World War 1 and the estate has fallen into disrepair and needs a large injection of money. When Kit is suffering from a hangover and in despair at his situation he makes a decision which pleases his father but makes everyone else unhappy. It transpires that Sir Robert and his family have experienced a lot of trauma over the years.
This was a really good read, it’s 469 pages long but it didn’t seem like that, I suppose because I was engrossed in it. There’s also quite a lot about the planning and planting of a garden in the book, and horticulture in general, but it’s done in a subtle way I think and won’t be intrusive to people who aren’t so interested in plants.
Elizabeth Buchan is married to the grandson of the author John Buchan. The only other book that I’ve read by her is Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman which I believe was dramatised for TV, but looking back at my review of it it seems that I wasn’t as impressed with that one.