Friday, 7 October 2016

Guest Review: A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham

Nestled in the Cornish village of Cloudsea, sits Sea Cottage – the perfect place for some Christmas magic … 

At last Ivy is looking forward to Christmas. She and her husband Stuart have moved to their perfect little cottage by the sea - a haven alongside the rugged cliffs that look out to the Atlantic Ocean. She’s pregnant with their much-longed for first baby and for the first time, since the death of her beloved mother, Ivy feels like things are going to be alright. 

But there is trouble ahead. It soon emerges that Stuart has been keeping secrets from Ivy, and suddenly she misses her mum more than ever. 

When Ivy stumbles across a letter from her mother hidden in an old writing desk, secrets from the past come hurtling into the present. But could her mother’s words help Ivy in her time of need? Ivy is about to discover that the future is full of unexpected surprises and Christmas at Sea Cottage promises to be one to remember. 

This Christmas warm your heart and escape to the Cornish coast for an uplifting story of love, secrets and new beginnings that you will remember for many Christmases to come. 

Previously published as The Postcard. This is an extended version.


Review: This book is an extended version of an earlier novella entitled The Postcard. It is the second book that I have read from Lily Graham, and it is definitely different. I would have to say from the start that those who pick this book up expecting a nice Christmassy tale will be very disappointed. Christmas does feature during the course of the story, but it is no big part of it. I think that maybe the book's former title was more appropriate, since a postcard plays a large role.

The story revolves around Ivy Everton and her husband, Stuart. They live in a lovely rambling cottage by the sea in the little Cornish village of Cloudsea, where they have moved to get away from the madness of life in London, much to Stuart's mother's disgust. Ivy is a highly successful children's book writer and illustrator, while Stuart has exchanged the busy life of marketing for market gardening, and makes the most wonderful sounding preserves (such as pak choi jelly). After years of trying and many, many disappointments, they are finally pregnant. Strange and magical things begin to happen in Ivy's life after she retrieves her late mother's writing desk from her one time home, where her father now lives alone.

Apart from my dismay on finding that this was not, in fact, a nice, warm Christmas romance, I did find myself drawn into this story. It was slow to start with, but eventually I got to the stage of not wanting to put it down. There was quite a bit of humour in it, mainly connected with Stuart's preserve making activities and the antics of some of Ivy's mothers old chums, but also some serious and heart-rending parts. The end had me in tears. I would recommend it especially to readers who enjoy a bit of magic and ghostly activity, but you should avoid it if this is not your kind of thing.

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