Published 1st December
Paperback Original | £8.99
A close-knit Cornish fishing village is divided by the arrival of a troubled young widow. What is Anna Garvey running from, and is she all she seems?
1910. Anna Garvey arrives in Caernoweth, Cornwall with her daughter and a secret. Having come from Ireland to take up an inheritance of the local pub, she and her eighteen year-old daughter Mairead are initially viewed with suspicion by the close-knit community.
Anna soon becomes acquainted with Freya Penhaligon, a vulnerable girl struggling to keep her family business afloat in the wake of her grandmother’s death, and starts to gain the trust of the locals. As their friendship deepens, and Freya is brought out of her shell by the clever and lively Mairead, even Freya’s protective father Matthew begins to thaw.
But when a part of Anna’s past she’d long tried to escape turns up in the town, she is forced to confront the life she left behind – for her sake and her daughter’s too . . .
About the author:
Terri Nixon was born in Plymouth in 1965. At the age of nine she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn – North Hill – where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. Her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus in 2013. She has since published two more novels in the Oaklands Manor trilogy: A Rose in Flanders Fields and Daughter of Dark River Farm.
This book tells the story of two female protagonists, Freya Penhaligon and Anna Garvey, whose lives overlap when Freya runs her grandmother's bookshop, Penhaligon's Attic and Anna comes to the village to take over the running of the local pub.
The setting of the book in a Cornish fishing village at the end of the nineteenth century really captured my imagination as the characters spring to life. When Anna arrives, bringing with her secrets of her own, a new chapter starts. There are hints throughout the book as to what this secret is but I'm pleased to say I was still surprised by the ending. I thought I'd worked it out and then there was a further twist which worked well and explained everything neatly.
The author is skilled at taking the reader with her for the journey. The only point at which I felt the book lost pace was when Freya leaves Cornwall as a child before returning many years later. Much more could have been made of this part or alternatively if it doesn't add much to the narrative then it could have been dropped or mentioned in flashback.
All in all, wonderful location and characters and a story that stays with you. A lovely, romantic read.