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  • Location: Cornwall, Helston

One Cornish Summer

One Cornish Summer

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: A story of two women struggling with their past: one cannot remember hers, the other cannot forget.

  • ISBN: 978-1409162148
  • Genre: Fiction, Sagas

What you need to know before your trail

When Hebe receives a life-changing diagnosis at only 53, and with memories slipping away by the day, she flees to the one place she has always felt safe and peaceful – Cornwall, and her  beloved house.

Lucy seizes the chance to follow her aunt to Cornwall. Curious about what has driven Hebe there after so many years, she also has to battle with the secret she has kept since her family’s last summer there more than ten years ago.

Both women will learn that memories live in our hearts and that sharing secrets can set you free… But can they find their way back to the things that are truly important to them?

Travel Guide

England – Cornwall

Godolston House

Hewlyn House is of course not real, but it is heavily based on this, stunning National Trust property. Liz explains that she has been fascianted with the house ever since she visited it some twenty years ago and so wanted to write a novel based on or around it and its history. She’s keen to point our that there are no real skeletons or priest holes as in the story. Imagine if there were! There are however plenty of witch marks….

In the novel, the house is not in the rich mining landscape of Helston but to a hill above Gillian Creek. Liz explains that she has had to flatten the landscape in the book somewhat.

Cornwall and the Civil War

The history in the novel is also based on real fact. Liz has included the two civil wars as Hebe would have known about as an historian. The first was settled when Cromwell’s Parliamentary forces won as Naseby in 1645. The second part ended with Charles I’s defeat at the Battle of Preston and his execution in 1649. Charles II formed an army and was defeated by Cromwell but he ascended to the throne in 1660. Thomas Grylls is not based on anyone and is purely fictional – despite his surname!

The poetry of John Donne also interweaves themes in the novel and bring out the beauty of the landscape of Cornwall even more.

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

Liz! You’ve brought the sunshine into my reading life, despite this snow we’re having, but there was still water when the tears started to flow. Hebe has Alzheimers and it’s especially tragic since she’s young. She hopes that her favourite place, restored, will go some way to restoring her. Lucy comes to help and the house has quite an effect on her too for different reasons.

There were some upsetting scenes but very true and heartfelt. Similarly the descriptions of time and place, the historical nod to the Civil War and the memories and lessons that brings was very nicely done.

I found the two women’s stories wove well together and formed quite a picture, a tapestry of heart felt emotion, love, family and much more. There’s a lot of research in this novel and honest, raw emotions but nothing ever feels invasive or too much. It carried you along with the need to know how their stories end.

I now very much want to visit Helwyn house in the book  – Godolphin House as I’m sure the story would be even more acute on location as it were.

It’s lovely how Liz brings out such hidden faces and nuances of the Cornish landscape and history in her books when the main story is so emotional and character driven. Oh did I say how emotional it was!  – I needed plenty of chocolate and cake at the end. Be sure to have tissues at the ready. What a heartwarming but heartbreaking story.

An author with a paintbrush with Cornish charm in the bristles.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  One Cornish Summer

Destination : Cornwall, Helston  Author/Guide: Liz Fenwick  Departure Time: 2015, 2016

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