A Cornish Secret
by Emma Burstall
Be careful what you kiss for...
Esme Posorsky is an enigma. For as long as people can remember, she has been part of community life in the quaint Cornish fishing village of Tremarnock, but does anyone really know her? She is usually to be found working in her pottery studio or at home with her beloved cat, Rasputin. But when an old school friend turns up with a secret from the past, nothing will ever be the same again.
Meanwhile, teenager, Rosie, is excited to find a bottle washed up on Tremarnock beach with a message from a former German prisoner of war. While the rest of the village is up in arms about a new housing development, she sets out to find him. Little does she know, however, that her discovery will unleash a shocking chain of events that threatens to blow her family apart. Tremarnock may look like a cozy backwater, but some of its residents are about to come face-to-face with tough decisions and cold reality…
He wasn’t bad-looking, with short black hair, shaved at the sides and longer on top and a sprinkling of designer stubble, but his unusually large ears made him look rather as if he might take off in flight at any moment.
It looked as if Barbara might have got to him with her foot pump, for his short body seemed to be filled with air and his two chins waggled self-importantly.
She glanced up and her smile lit the room, taking Esme’s breath away. It was the sun breaking through clouds, it was Monday made Friday, it was a tidal wave that swallowed up a thousand doubts… and most of all, a curve that made the whole world spin and also set it straight.
He then came up with the idea of having special T-shirts printed with Tremarnock Resists on the front, and the conversation was side-tracked while they discussed colour schemes and matching beanie hats, so they would look as if they meant business.
I can assure you I have many, many faults. Sometimes I even pick my nose.
The older woman’s shoulders drooped and despite her tall, broad stature she looked fragile and shrunken, as if someone had come along, pulled her apart and done a poor job of putting her together again.
I am feeling rather indecisive and unsure of how to rate this one. I was new to the author and series and for some reason, I went into this book expecting a romantic comedy, which it wasn’t. There were comedic elements with numerous cleverly amusing descriptions and witty observations and underpinnings, however, the overall tone of the book felt rather melancholy as the majority of the characters were struggling with either personal, vocational, social, or community issues.
Despite the dizzying number of unique and fully fleshed out characters, the writing was easy to follow, effusively descriptive, lusciously detailed, and conjured strong visuals. I enjoyed Ms. Burstall’s smooth and engaging writing style as well as her relevant, thoughtful, and socially diverse storylines. My conflict is with the ending, there wasn’t one; it just stopped with open threads left unknotted… but thankfully, no heinous cliffhanger in sight. I just didn’t expect this was to be an on-going tale. Hence my dilemma.
About the author
Emma Burstall was a newspaper journalist in Devon and Cornwall before becoming a full-time author. Tremarnock, the first novel in her series set in a delightful Cornish village, was published in 2015 and became a top-10 bestseller.