Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham

5 Star

Nestled in the Cornish village of Cloudsea, sits Sea Cottage – the perfect place for some Christmas magic …

At last Ivy is looking forward to Christmas. She and her husband Stuart have moved to their perfect little cottage by the sea - a haven alongside the rugged cliffs that look out to the Atlantic Ocean. She’s pregnant with their much-longed for first baby and for the first time, since the death of her beloved mother, Ivy feels like things are going to be alright.

But there is trouble ahead. It soon emerges that Stuart has been keeping secrets from Ivy, and suddenly she misses her mum more than ever.
When Ivy stumbles across a letter from her mother hidden in an old writing desk, secrets from the past come hurtling into the present. But could her mother’s words help Ivy in her time of need? Ivy is about to discover that the future is full of unexpected surprises and Christmas at Sea Cottage promises to be one to remember.

Kathryn - 5 Star

I was not expecting A Cornish Christmas to be as serious as it was (another example of when not to judge a book by its cover!)-  I was expecting a more light-hearted novel full of holiday cheer but instead found myself in a novel on an emotional journey. That sounds negative but in fact it is the source of the subject matter than can be seen as difficult rather than the way it is explored in the novel.

Ivy and Stuart have been navigating infertility issues for a number of years with many sad and devastating results. They are finally in a position where they can perhaps look to being happy but it’s a two-sided coin for Ivy as it has also brought back up to the surface the loss of her mother which she is feeling with an intensity I could feel on the pages.

I loved the way Lily Graham treated both these subjects.  She gave Ivy realistic bouts of frustration and sadness but didn’t allow Lily to become maudlin.  Somehow, despite their history there is much light in A Cornish Christmas.  Graham also delved into creating characters that both support Lily and Stuart in their lives and provide lighthearted relief when things were tough- from Stuart’s interfering mother to the dog Lily’s career as an illustrator is based on there is no person (or animal) that is left out.  The magical quality to Lily’s relationship with her mother could have come across as clich├ęd but I didn’t find it that way- it was done in just the right way that inspired hope and love.

I adored Graham’s story and was so pleased it came up on my list of to-reads. 

Thank you to Bookouture for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

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