Tuesday, December 01, 2020

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen

I made the cover image really big because I love this cover. I felt transported to the time and place of A Castaway in Cornwall every time I looked at that cover. 

In A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen, Laura is living with her Uncle Matthew, his wife, and her daughter, Eseld in Cornwall. The year is 1813 and England is at war with France. Orphaned as an adolescent, Laura longs to visit the isle of Jersey to see her parents' graves. She feels as if she was cast aside by them when they went to tend to her sick aunt. 

Near Laura's home is a dangerous reef that is notorious for causing shipwrecks and Laura has a habit of salvaging items she finds on the rocky shore, cleaning them, searching for the loved ones of those who died in a shipwreck, and returning the items if she can. But, there are dangerous men who will do anything to acquire the cargo of a wrecked ship.

When the Kittiwake is wrecked and Laura finds a man nearly drowned on the beach, one of those dangerous wreckers threatens to kill him but Laura protects him and nurses him back to health. Alexander, the survivor, claims to have been returning to his home in Jersey. But, he is keeping secrets from the people who help him. Where is Alexander really from? Is he a dangerous escaped prisoner? When Laura finds herself falling for him, is she making a mistake? Will he end up leaving for his home, never to return? 

There's a lot that I'm leaving out because I think it's best to let this one unfold and I don't want to spoil any of the surprises. I enjoyed how it played out and I was happy with the ending, although a few too many people found romance in a fairly short timespan and that felt a little over-the-top, at least to me. 

Recommended - I should mention that last week was such a stressful week that I had a terrible time reading and didn't even read at all for 3 days in a row (shocking!) so my reading of A Castaway in Cornwall was likely colored by my inability to focus. So, please take my thoughts as atypical. I enjoyed A Castaway in Cornwall but since I was struggling to read, I never felt truly sucked in by the story and normally would have stopped to read something quick and easy then returned to it. But, I was scheduled for a tour so I didn't feel like I had the time to do what I normally do when I'm having difficulty focusing. Probably because of that, the story felt like it was too descriptive and drawn out. I have enjoyed Julie Klassen's books immensely, in the past, and the ratings of A Castaway in Cornwall are very high at Goodreads; it probably would have been a pretty quick read and more enjoyable at any other time. I did like the main characters and was rooting for them. 

Many thanks to Bethany House for the review copy and Laurel Ann for the opportunity to tour this book! 

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