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Book review: A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick



*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

‘A Cornish Stranger’ is the first book by Liz Fenwick I have read, but it certainly won’t be my last one. I absolutely enjoyed each second of it and am truly fascinated with Ms. Fenwick’s writing. 

The story is centered around Jaunty and her granddaughter Gabe (short for Gabriella) who moves in with her grandmother to help her out during her last days. Jaunty is 92-93 years old but seems she can do most things on her own. Except maybe deal with her past and all the secrets she’s been hiding so well throughout the years. Secrets she kept well from her beloved ones, but as she’s approaching the end of her life, she’s determined to reveal them hoping she’ll get the forgiveness (and understanding) from her granddaughter. 

Jaunty’s life hasn’t been easy, she’s been a victim, a survivor, and finally a well known artist. But her secrets are threatening to destroy all she’s been working for. Along comes a stranger who not only reminds her of her past, but seems also to be strongly connected to it.

Gabe is a talented singer but with a lot of burden on her shoulders. Despite her great talent and beautiful voice, she has stepped off the scene, abruptly and mysteriously to many who have followed her carrier. She has some secrets of her own, so going back to the place where she grew up to help Jaunty seems to be the perfect getaway for her.

‘A Cornish Stranger’ is told from both Januty’s and Gabe’s POV and I must admit Ms. Fenwick did a great job in bringing these characters to life. I thoroughly enjoyed their stories and found myself completely immersed in their memories, their past and their present. The author managed to create powerful characters, different yet similar to a certain extent, and intertwine their POVs, past and present delivering one complex and beautiful story. There aren’t many characters, yet each is so important and adds to the story. At times I would be in awe of Jaunty’s energy, strenght and zest for life, but then I would completely be shocked by her past. This is definitely not a predictable book, and there were couple of twists I certainly didn’t expect. It’s hard to say if I related to Jaunty or Gabe more. While I admired Jaunty for her strength and wisdom, I could relate to Gabe’s insecurities, and I was rooting for her since the beginning.

One of the things that makes this book even more beautiful is the setting and all the vivid descriptions. I was literally transported to this beautiful place, breathing in the sea air, feeling it fill my lungs. That obviously once again just proves Ms. Fenwick’s writing skills and mastery. To everyone enjoying a well written, unputdownable family drama, with historical and mystery elements, THIS is a book not to be missed out on.

My rating 4.5/5.