Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Book Review - The Cornish House by Liz Fenwick - Cornish Week

Amazon UK

Title: The Cornish House
Author: Liz Fenwick
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 24th May 2012 
Rating: 4 Stars

When artist Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall shortly after the death of her husband, she hopes it will be the fresh start she and her step-daughter desperately need. Trevenen is beautiful but neglected, and as Maddie discovers the stories of generations of women who've lived there before, she begins to feel her life is somehow intertwined within its walls.

But Maddie's dream of a calm life in the countryside is far from the reality she faces - and as she pulls at the seams of Trevenen's past, the house reveals secrets that have lain hidden for generations.

I have been meaning to read a book by Liz Fenwick for a few years, to the extent that I keep buying them for my kindle, but not getting around to reading them. Finally this week, I have put that right and started at with the first book she had published, The Cornish House. 

I wasn't sure what to expect from The Cornish House,  however I did really enjoy the book. I did find it took a while to get going for me, partly because of Hannah and Maddie clearly still being grief-stricken. Makes for some slightly harder reading,. 

Maddie inherits Trevenen, in Cornwall shortly after her husband dies, and she has full custody of her step-daughter Hannah, who is devastated at the loss of her father, and is also behaving like a typical teenager towards her step-mum. 

It doesn't take long for Maddie to fall in love with the house, and for the house to reveal some of its secrets, mainly towards Maddie's birth family. There is a lot of history of the house dealt with, and its prior occupants, including some diary entries. As not a huge fan of history, I wasn't too enthralled by all of this, it was interesting, but not really a preferred part of this story. 

There are many arguments between Maddie and Hannah and their relationship is one of adjustment, as to how to deal with the other without Hannah's father to intervene. It is a fascinating relationship, and I loved seeing how it grew and changed as the story progressed. 

I found the descriptions of a Cornish winter in a house that didn't have proper heating to be quite harrowing, as I know how cold that part of the country can get, especially with the sea breeze too, and I am amazed they were coping as well as they did. 

It was Hannah's friendship with OT that really touched me, it was great to be able to see her confide in someone, and it seemed like OT was getting a lot from the friendship too. 

The Cornish House was an enjoyable debut from an author I have every intention of reading more from. 


  1. An interesting and thoughtful review. I also enjoyed it, although the history side also appealed more to me.
    I can tell you that Liz's writing has improved with every book she has written.

    She is a writer who really "gets" Cornwall.


    1. Thank you John. Very happy to know that Liz's writing does improve with each book. I have a few more of hers still to read and am looking forward to them.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...