Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Guest Review: Tremarnock. The Lives, Loves and Secrets of a Cornish Village by Emma Burstall

Tremarnock is a classic Cornish seaside village. Houses cluster around the fishing harbour. It has a pub and a sought-after little restaurant. It is here that Liz has found sanctuary for herself and her young daughter, Rosie - far away from Rosie's cheating father.

Liz works all the hours God sends. First thing in the morning she's out, cleaning offices. At night she is waitressing in the village restaurant, while friends and neighbours rally round and mind Rosie. But trouble is waiting just round the corner.

As with all villages, there are tensions, secrets - and ambitions. Emma Burstall's wonderfully engaging first novel about Tremarnock is the story of what happens when one shocking turn of events sweeps a small community.






Review: This is the first novel I have read by Emma Burstall, and the first in the Tremarnock series. I was attracted by the lovely cover on the book, which speaks of a tranquil village by the sea, and decided to give it a listen on audiobook. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the story had a lot more to it than the synopsis suggested - a tale with true substance and a moral to boot. 

The story centres around Liz and her daughter, Rosie, who has cerebral palsy, but does not let her disability squash her lively personality. Having been abandoned by Rosie's father, Liz is bringing her daughter up on her own and working 2 jobs just to keep their heads above water. Fortunately, Tremarnock is a village full of lovely people, who are ready to pitch in and help, especially when tragedy strikes Liz and Rosie, which it does in a big way. A great number of characters feature in the story, including inhabitants of Tremarnock itself and friends and colleagues of Liz's from Plymouth, where she works as an office cleaner. One of the main protagonists, apart from Liz and Rosie is Robert, who owns the restaurant where Liz works as a waitress. 

I very much enjoyed this story. You really never knew what was coming next. I was full of admiration for Liz, who showed such immense strength in the face of all sorts of adversity, and also for Rosie, who didn't let anything get her down in spite of all the bad breaks she was dealt. The setting for the story was great as well - a classic Cornish fishing village with pretty little houses, a restaurant serving mouth watering dishes, the local pub and of course a scattering of interesting characters. Romance was bubbling under the surface of the story, but wasn't a main feature. There are 2 more stories in the Tremarnock series; I am looking forward to finding out what is going to happen next in this quaint little village. 

Click the link to order your copy: UK or US

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