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Book Review | One Cornish Summer by Liz Fenwick

Liz Fenwick has become one of my favourite authors having enjoyed her writing since reading her debut The Cornish House in 2012.  Each year I find myself eagerly waiting to find out Liz’ next novel and each year she doesn’t disappoint. To pigeon-hole One Cornish Summer in the romance genre doesn’t tell the whole story (do the labels ever?).  If you haven’t read anything from Liz Fenwick I highly recommend you do.

On publication day I’m sharing my thoughts on One Cornish Summer with you.

Paperback: 400 pages

Publisher: Orion (8 Mar. 2018)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1409162141

ISBN-13: 978-1409162148

Against the beauty of Cornwall, a story of two women struggling with their past: one cannot remember hers, the other cannot forget…

When Hebe receives a life-changing diagnosis at only 53, she struggles to make sense of what it will mean for her, her job and the man she loves. With memories slipping away by the day, she flees to the one place she has always felt safe and peaceful – Cornwall, and the house her family spent so many summers in.

Lucy is having her own crisis, and seizes the chance to follow her aunt to Cornwall. Curious about what has driven Hebe there after so many years, she also has to battle with the secret she has kept since her family’s last summer there more than ten years ago.

Both women will learn that memories live in our hearts and that sharing secrets can set you free… But can they find their way back to the things that are truly important to them?

Available to purchase in digital, paperback and audio formats.

Book Review

I enjoyed the format of Hebe’s and Lucy’s narrations.   This gives us so much insight into their lives and their characters.  Both in relationships that break the boundaries of society and feel the need to hide away, although Hebe isn’t protecting herself but protecting other.

From the beginning we know from Hebe there is something wrong.  I knew I should be feeling more for her but just didn’t feel that connection until quite late in the story when my tears surprised me!  When had that happened?  I had been so caught up in the unfolding story that I hadn’t noticed she’d snuck in.  Academic and seen as strong and independent, she has more than one secret she’s hiding from her family.  After she wins the bid on Helwyn House and Lucy moves down to project manage, their closeness becomes apparent.  I loved the relationship they had with each other.

Despite being close to Hebe’s age it was Lucy I felt a connection with.  I wanted to know what was driving her behaviour.  I was intrigued by the events all those years ago that were still impacting on her today, informing her decisions.  When Kit Williams comes on the scene I thought Lucy showed so much strength!  Flawed and multi-faceted, she’s one of my favourite characters this year.

I loved Hebe’s step-mother Sarah (who says it as it is) and it was great to see cameo appearances from characters in previous novels.

Liz Fenwick takes us deeper emotionally with intimate relationships in One Cornish Summer as well as exploring our baser natures.  There’s more than one mistake (a couple of twists I didn’t see coming either!) made by our characters which to me, reflects life and the consequences of our decisions.

Helwyn House has such a pull on Hebe, Lucy and Kit.  All that history! It felt like a living and breathing entity to me, holding some secrets close while releasing others.  Although fictitious, it’s based on the National Trust’s Godolphin House and now added to my wishlist of places to visit!

One Cornish Summer is another outstanding read from this author.  The characters lives are still playing out in my head (I often find myself thinking of them) even though I finished this story at the end of January.  Don’t miss it!

Connect with Liz Fenwick

Twitter @liz_fenwick

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