A young woman, a Cornish village, and romantic memories are all set up. This book has all the ingredients of a delightful and uplifting read from a clever writer who knows exactly what details to include to establish a setting or character. The dialogue is very authentic, especially in the case of one hard to please character, as it reflects very natural and well observed speech. While some of the the characters are less than likable, there are also warm and supportive people shown, reflecting a fair mix of any society. There are some interesting plot twists, and generally this is an interesting and warm read featuring some interesting people and ideas. I was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this uplifting book.
The book opens with Anna in her shared house with her friends Lauren and Georgia, discovering that her elderly friend Meg has died. As an orphan forced to live with unsympathetic relatives, she enjoyed her summer holidays spent at Meg’s lovely cottage in the small and beautiful Cornish village of Polkerran, partly because of the place but also because of Meg’s affection for her. She is contacted by some solicitors who have been trying to find her as she is a beneficiary under Meg’s will. When she discovers that she has in fact inherited Westerleigh cottage and Meg’s money, she decides to give up living in Harrogate, leave her job, and dump her unsatisfactory boyfriend who had tried to insist that she sell the cottage. She decides to move to Westerleigh, which turns out to be as magical as she remembered, and large enough to run a Bed and Breakfast business. She also finds a group of friends who adopt her and frequently come round to enjoy Anna’s baking. The whole place runs on gossip, and she soon finds work as a typist for the mysterious Oliver whose history book she enjoys reading. It seems as if her life could be idyllic, especially when she encounters Alex Tremayne who she worshipped from afar as a teenager. As the tourist season begins and the weather improves, she feels that her work and life in the village are going well, but what of Meg’s instruction to “follow the shells”?
This is a warm and comforting book, an ideal read for winter days or indeed any days when a virtual journey to beautiful Cornwall seems attractive. Anna is a lovely character, and her friends include the lovely Mrs Lovelace whose muddling of words leads to much humour. I really enjoyed this well written and delightful book, and I recommend to it contemporary romance fans and all those who love the idea of a caring Cornish community.