Book Review: A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick

Title: A Cornish Stranger
Author: Liz Fenwick
Published: May 22nd 2014 by Orion
Amazon | Amazon UK

Blurb: There's an old Cornish saying: 'Save a stranger from the sea, he'll turn your enemy...'

When her reclusive grandmother becomes too frail to live alone, Gabriella Blythe moves into the remote waterside cabin on Frenchman's Creek which has been her grandmother's home for decades. Once a celebrated artist, Jaunty's days are coming to a close but she is still haunted by events in her past, particularly the sinking of Lancasteria during the war. 

Everything is fine until a handsome stranger arrives in a storm, seeking help. Finn has been left a family legacy: a delicate watercolour of a sailing boat which leads him to this beautiful stretch of Cornish water. As Finn begins to pick at the clues of the painting, he is drawn into the lives of Gabe and Jaunty, unraveling a remarkable story of identity and betrayal...

In her delightful new novel, Liz Fenwick weaves a spelling binding tale of romance and intrigue, set against the gorgeous Cornish coast.

First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: This is my first book by Liz Fenwick and it certainly won't be my last. She totally captured me with her descriptive style and complex characters. I thought A Cornish Stranger would be a light read to take my mind off for a couple of days but it couldn't be further from the truth, once I started reading, I couldn't stop. Liz created such an intricate story with so many secrets that I just wanted to know more.

The story centers around Gabriella, a talented opera singer that has decided, for some reason, to forget all about opera and focus on writing jingles. When we meet her, she has decided to move to Cornwall to be with her grandmother, who at ninety something is not as fit as she used to be. Both women hide their own secrets but when a gorgeous stranger enters their lives, everything changes. Ready or not, their time is running out and they have to face some truths to be able to move on.

Gabe was a really interesting character to read but the one who stole the show for me was her grandmother, Jaunty, a real survivor. As we learned more about her life, I could only wonder at what she had done and how she had fought to have the life she had. I certainly didn't expect at all some the secrets she finally unraveled. What a woman. I couldn't stop shading a tear or two reading about her.

I also enjoyed a lot learning more about the gorgeous stranger named Finn. It was clear from the beginning that he also had a fair share of secrets of his own and also had some kind of link with Jaunty and Gabe. But he slowly stole their hearts and mine too. 

All in all A Cornish Stranger was a fascinating read in a stunning setting. I've never been to Cornwall but with Liz's descriptions I could easily picture the atmospheric scenario and how it was such an important part of the story. This is certainly a book I would recommend to all readers as it has something for everyone, family, friendship, love, secrets, mystery, war tales, art, great settings... and the list could go on and on. 


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