Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Lake Louise, Canada
Copenhagen, Denmark
Loch Ness, Scotland
  • Location: Cornwall

The Sea Gate

The Sea Gate

Why a Booktrail?

1940s: A mystery of wartime Cornwall

  • Genre: Fiction, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

After the death of her mother, Rebecca begins the sad task of sorting through her empty flat. Starting with the letters piling up on the doormat, she finds an envelope post-marked from Cornwall. In it is a letter that will change her life forever. A desperate plea from her mother’s elderly cousin, Olivia, to help save her beloved home.

Rebecca arrives at Chynalls to find the house crumbling into the ground and Olivia stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her home is made habitable.

Though slightly daunted, Rebecca sets to work. But as she peels back the layers of paint, plaster and grime, she uncovers secrets buried for more than seventy years. Secrets from a time when Olivia was young, the Second World War was raging, and danger and romance lurked round every corner…

Travel Guide



Travel BookTrail style to Cornwall

The house ion the novel is set in the fictional village of Porth Enys and the house is called Chynalls. The map shows a few places where it would be lovely to be left a house. Well, it’s Cornwall so it could be anywhere as it would be lovely to live in a place which has ‘no postcode, as if the house is in Narnia, not part of the modern world at all.’

There is mention of the closest hospital being in Truro though.

The house:

“It has a shanty of a porch and there are corpses of long-dead insects in thick corner webs. There is stained glass and an old-fashioned doorbell, dusty shelves stacked with bric-a-brac. It’s a shock to see the house and it’s not what she was expecting.”


“This is the Cornwall I have always imagined. The sense of wilderness and isolation, of fairytale and possibility. There is a luminous quality to the air as if everything has been renewed overnight.”



BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Sea Gate

Destination/location: Cornwall  Author/guide: Jane Johnson  Departure Time: 1940s

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