~ Publisher’s Description ~
When Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall shortly after the death of her husband, she hopes it will mean a fresh start. Maddie is enchanted by it and is keen to learn as much as she can about its past. As she discovers stories of generations of women who’ve lived there before, she feels her life is somehow intertwined within its walls.
~ My thoughts ~
I am writing this review having only finished The Cornish House about 15 minutes ago. It is very rare for me to do so as usually I need some time to allow my thoughts to order in my head, especially when I have felt such a deep connection with a book, as I did with this one. So, this review runs the risk of sounding like a series of ramblings rather than well thought out. What makes this one different? The effect that this particular book has had on me and how I needed to write my thoughts down straight away.
When Maddie and her 16 year old stepdaughter Hannah move to Cornwall, they are both hurting from Maddie losing her husband and Hannah, her father. Maddie has inherited Trevenen and feels it would be a fresh start for both of them.
The Cornish House is a story of love, loss, grief, and healing. It really shows how there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is so poignant and heartfelt and certainly pulled at my heartstrings – it had me in tears on a couple of occasions. There is a lovely romantic thread within it and a mystery to uncover too – especially as the house starts to reveal the secrets to its past.
I loved all of the characters in this story but Hannah was the one who had the most impact on me. At 16, she really is a moody teenager but as the story progresses we see and feel how much she is hurting from the loss of her father – something I can relate to. I am 15 years older than Hannah but I have felt those same raw emotions. However, I must admit that Hannah did get on my nerves at times but it is testament to Liz Fenwick’s great character creation to write a character in Hannah who was able to test my patience quite a lot!!
Another character to mention is Old Tom. A former teacher, now in his eighties, he comes into Hannah’s life right when she needs that sense of order and a voice of reason to help her on her journey. He is a delightful character and I think everyone should have an Old Tom in their lives.
I was so drawn into this story that I felt I was living both Maddie’s and Hannah’s stories and so it brought familiar emotions to the surface – but this can only happen if the writing is strong enough to create such atmosphere and Liz Fenwick’s writing is and does. This is her debut book, published in 2012, and I have read her later works prior to this. What a debut this must have been. I am so pleased that she has gone on to write and publish 5 more books and a novella and I look forward to reading A Path To The Sea next year.
~ Where to find The Cornish House ~
~ About Liz Fenwick ~
Liz Fenwick, award-winning author, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer, was born in Massachusetts, and at the age of twenty-six moved to London where she fell in love with an Englishman. After nine international moves, she now spends her time in Cornwall with her husband and her mad cat, writing stories inspired by the beautiful Duchy.