I was looking forward to reading Summer in Tintagel not least to making a guess at what I thought might be the hardest scene Mandy James wrote (she didn’t give much away in my interview did she 🙂 )
Tintagel is a fabulous setting for the mystical …
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Urbane Publications (14 July 2016)
We all have secrets……
Ambitious journalist Rosa Fernley has been asked to fulfil her grandmother Jocelyn’s dying wish. Jocelyn has also passed on a secret – in the summer of 1968, fleeing from the terror of a bullying husband, she visited the mysterious Tintagel Castle. Jocelyn wasn’t seeking love, but she found it on the rugged clifftops in the shape of Jory, a local man as enigmatic and alluring as the region itself. But she was already married, and knew her husband would never let her find happiness and peace in Jory’s arms.
Now as her days are nearing their end, she begs Rosa to go back to Tintagel, but is unwilling, or unable, to tell her why. Rosa is reluctant – she has a job in London, a deadline that won’t wait and flights of fancy are just not in her nature. Nevertheless, she realises it might be the last thing she will do for her beloved grandmother and agrees to go.
Once in Tintagel, Rosa is challenged to confront secrets of her own, as shocking events threaten to change everything she has ever believed about herself and her family. She also meets a guide to the castle, Talan, a man who bears a striking resemblance to Jory.
Will the past remain cloaked in tragedy, sadness and the pain of unrequited love? Or can Rosa find the courage and strength to embrace the secrets of the past, and give hope to the future?
Rosa’s solid relationship with her gran shines through as we begin the story and although the quest is about putting right misconceptions, it’s also about families and communities. Her quest to follow her gran’s instruction is under stress with a sense of urgency and Tintagel is the perfect setting for the mysticism and mystery. I have to say that the supernatural was emotive and I loved how it all weaves together.
One of my favourite characters is Morganna. Although Rosa is in denial and pushing against her fate, the pull is strong and she is drawn Morganna’s shop. I enjoyed their friendship and how integral Morganna is in Rosa letting go of her father’s hold. It was great to see Rosa move away from a practical and scientific mind into a Neptunian way of looking at the world.
Talan and Rosa are never sure of where they stand with each other (neither looking for a relationship) which of course leaves space for conflict. I’ve enjoyed the pace of the romance and had a few awww moments.
Mandy’s writing style in her previous novels have engaged my imagination and Summer at Tintagel doesn’t disappoint. Her use of personification and descriptive style bring a depth to the landscape which means it’s so easy to imagine yourself there. For anyone feeling nostalgic for those summer days on holiday, Summer in Tintagel will take you right back. The Cornish countryside and cliffs come alive as do those days of waking up and not knowing what the day ahead will bring.
Read Summer in Tintagel for the intrigue and mystery, the setting, fab characters, romance and a step out of the mundane.
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