A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen #Review


Title: A Castaway in Cornwall

Author: Julie Klassen 

Release Date:  December 1st 2020

Length:  400 pages

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Goodreads  |  Amazon | Nook


Set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers, Laura Callaway now lives with her uncle and his disapproving wife in North Cornwall. There she feels like a castaway, always viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong.

While wreckers search for valuables along the windswept Cornwall coast–known for its many shipwrecks but few survivors–Laura searches for clues to the lives lost so she can write letters to next of kin and return keepsakes to rightful owners. When a man is washed ashore after a wreck, Laura acts quickly to protect him from a local smuggler determined to destroy him.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the survivor, they discover he has curious wounds and, although he speaks in careful, educated English, his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Despite the evidence against him, the mysterious man might provide her only chance to discover the truth about her parents’ fate. With danger pursuing them from every side, and an unexpected attraction growing between them, will Laura ever find the answers she seeks?

**** My Review ****

A touching romantic story about lost love and found hopes in a time of war and disdain. A story that will leave you speechless with its emotional reality that mixes sadness and happiness, pain and love, betrayal, and forgiveness.

An unforgettable story that takes us deep into the world of young Laura Callaway. A girl left alone in this world, living with a family that doesn’t share her blood. A castaway nor fully accepted, nor rejected by the inhabitants of the small town. Her peace and pleasure are walking along the coast collecting small treasures that the sea throws away after shipwrecks. But one day, the sea will throw out such a treasure that will bring the greatest happiness but also danger in her peaceful life. Will she find the strength to defend and protect the priceless treasure?

The book seems like a love novel, but I would give a lot more weight to this reading. With an extraordinary narrative gift, the author skillfully leads us on this journey to Cornwall. A complex account of the life that took place there in the 1800s. A distant time for us, and yet so similar. The difficulties of being an orphan, money as the biggest motivator and destruction, clandestine activities as a way to make quick money … these are some truths that have not changed to this day… But also we can see all the difficulties and hardships that people faced at that time. So many layers, so many threads masterfully woven into a story that will capture your attention from beginning to end. And so many topics to think about. And will we pay attention to the lack of medical care, or the difficulties of not having enough financial means, maybe to the cruelty that war brings, turning brother against brother, father against son ….. Every thread of the story is so skillfully intertwined that as you even read, it seems that you are there and you can see all the situations,  feel all the emotions, perceive all the details … And the details, believe me, are flawlessly fitted, from small superstitions, maidens’ silliness to general beliefs, to detailed descriptions, to historical data and notes that you do not have the impression that they burden you. The whole story is just captivating, with its wonderful premise, well-developed characters, and fascinating truths.

The main character Laura warmed my heart. An ambitious young lady who has many dreams in her life and a very noble purpose.  Small for the world, but something greatest for her. At times you think that you are Laura because of the amazing storytelling that seems so real as if there is not much imagination. And you read about her cruel fate. And you see the beauty of her soul. Fighting for people who do not have the strength to fight for themselves, bringing peace and closure for families, you realize that she is a character who simply fascinates you. And Alexander, with his pride and strength, is a man who is simply perfect for her. A man who went through hell to be able to help his family and friend. A man who isn’t afraid to accept help and to show emotions. A man who knows how to appreciate the beauty and sacrifice of this exceptional girl.

Definitely. A book that amazed me with its well-conceived plot and fascinating layering. A book that pulls you in like a whirlwind and doesn’t leave you until you read the last page.

****About the Author****

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. She blogs at http://www.inspiredbylifeandfiction.com.
Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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