One Cornish Summer
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
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?
The perfect escapist read for fans of Rachel Hore, Lucinda Riley and Rosanna Ley.
Praise for Liz Fenwick:
'A wonderfully intriguing and compelling story line . . . Together with Liz's usual beautiful evocation of the Cornish scenery this was a brilliant read. I recommend it' Barbara Erskine
'Authentic and compelling, this story of love and betrayal explores some fascinating human relationships against the backdrop of World War II. I loved it' Rosanna Ley
'Liz Fenwick's romantic story of twin sisters in wartime Cornwall is as heartbreaking as it is absorbing. I got so wrapped up in Adele's story that I read it in one day' Kate Riordan
'Brings the reality of war, loss, heartbreak, and ultimately love, to life for the reader, and all of it eloquently written with the sophisticated style and flair that is synonymous with Liz Fenwick' Books Of All Kinds
Another sublime novel from Liz Fenwick!!
I am a big fan of Liz Fenwick's work and I adored her last novel, The Returning Tide with it being one of my books of 2017. So I was very excited when I got to read One Cornish Summer - and I absolutely loved it! Just when I think I've found my favourite Liz Fenwick novel, she goes and pulls another one out of the bag!! It is the second book this year to leave me with a book hangover - the inability to start a new book because you're still living in the previous book's world- and it's only early March!
One Cornish Summer is a story of love, relationships, and secrets and is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Throw into this mix, a historical mystery thread, an imposing house and the beautiful Cornish countryside and you have yourself the perfect read.
Liz Fenwick has created some great characters, each with their own unique voices. Hebe is an historian and academic and as such has a mature and educated voice. The inclusion of John Donne's poetry fits perfectly. Hebe got under my skin, in a good way, from the very first page. Although she is over 20 years older than me, I really connected with her and wanted to dive into the pages to give her a hug because, at times, her story and struggle with Alzheimer's is heartbreaking. Liz Fenwick tells this beautifully and with so much respect. Hebe's story is poignant and touching and, in fact, has two dimensions to it. Firstly, we experience Hebe's day to day living with Alzheimer's and secondly, her flashbacks to one particular summer in Cornwall, where Donne's poetry is cleverly interwoven to reveal the turmoil Hebe's mind is going through.
Although closer in age, at 28 years old, it took me a while to warm to Lucy (not a fault with the book, we don't always warm to everyone we meet first time) and as more is revealed about her and her past and why she is so reluctant to be in Cornwall, she grew on me and I really liked her.
The voices of Hebe and Lucy are so vastly different but they complement one another perfectly and the two characters have a lovely relationship.
As I would expect from a Liz Fenwick novel, the house is a character and is an integral part of the story. Helwyn House means different things to each of the characters and it draws them and the reader in, revealing its secrets bit by bit and subtly forcing the characters to reveal theirs too. From following Liz on social media, I can recall from when she was doing research for the house. Helwyn House is modelled on Godolphin House. Liz and her family went to stay so that she could bring it to life on the pages, something that she does brilliantly. Even each creak of the floor board is perfectly captured.
It was great to see characters from earlier books make an appearance and to be able to follow a continuation of their stories. I can't wait to find out what they do next.
As I mentioned above, Donne's poetry plays a big part in Hebe's flashback story. It's the first time I've knowingly come across his poetry in any great detail and wow, it's powerful. It is evident that Liz Fenwick knows his work intimately to be able to pick out just the right parts to illustrate Hebe's mind state so well. I loved it so much that I went out and bought a collection of his work!
The writing in One Cornish Summer is beautiful, particularly in Hebe's story, but the writing in the last chapter is just divine and touched me so much that I was left sobbing. Be warned, this book will leave you reaching for the tissues and needing your favourite comfort food! Yes, I've felt choked up and shed a tear at stories in the past but there may only be one or two that have left me in a blubbering mess - One Cornish Summer being one of them. For words to have this much effect on a reader is powerful and I am in awe of Liz Fenwick's ability to create such atmosphere. There are also heartwarming and amusing moments in this story and the balance between these and the more emotional parts, feels just right.
With The Returning Tide, Liz Fenwick took her writing to another level, moving away from the genre of romantic fiction edging towards literary fiction, but with One Cornish Summer, she goes one step further still, marking out her route and clearly showing she has the ability to write literary fiction. I am thoroughly looking forward to seeing what she writes next. Please let it be another giant leap forward because this new direction works.
One Cornish Summer is a sublime read which is cleverly crafted, intricately researched and beautifully written. I really hope it does well because it deserves to fly. I highly recommend it and it would make a perfect present for Mother's Day tomorrow!!