An Endless Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley: Intriguing twists and turns - book review -
Rose Vernon is on a mission to find the anonymous bone marrow donor who saved her life… could the mystery man be in the small Cornish coastal village where she is planning to spend the summer?
Author Phillipa Ashley’s literary love affair with beautiful Cornwall has included A Perfect Cornish Summer, A Perfect Cornish Christmas and A Perfect Cornish Escape, and now a gorgeous new series delivers the same azure blue skies, hidden coves, golden beaches and cream teas that have won thousands of hearts.
Loved by an army of fans for her warm, clever and compassionate writing, and her spellbinding evocation of the Cornish landscape and its people, Ashley always brings a rich and compelling authenticity to her tales of love and life.
At the heart of this summer sparkler – filled with warm sunshine and an irresistibly salty tang – is a young woman whose life was cruelly threatened when she fell desperately ill during her archaeology studies at Cambridge University.
Four years ago, Rose Vernon’s life hung by a thread. After being diagnosed with the very serious condition, aplastic anaemia, she was told that unless a suitable bone marrow donor was found, she might not survive.
Fortunately for Rose, who now regards every day as a gift and works as an archaeology lecturer at Cambridge University, a perfect donor match was found and using the few clues she has, she is determined to find and thank the man to whom she owes everything.
And so Rose leaves the city behind and heads for Falford, a quiet fishing village on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall, planning to spend the summer there while she works on an archaeological dig in the area.
Rose soon finds a billet over a quaint crystals and Cornish pixie lore shop run by the irrepressible Oriel but things become complicated when Rose is drawn into local life and gets involved in the legendary Falford Regatta.
Then there are the handsome Morvah brothers, who own one of Falford’s boatyards which form the bustling hub of the village community. Blond-haired Joey attracts women ‘like a magnet attracted iron filings’ and Finn, dark-haired and more brooding than his brother, has secrets he wouldn’t want anyone to discover.
Rose is sure one of them might just be the man she’s looking for but which one? Can she find the answer she’s looking for before the summer is over?
In her trademark style, Ashley brings us an exhilarating sunshine-filled summertime odyssey full of drama and romance, and featuring an entertaining cast of characters, not least the lovable Oriel and the hunky, handsome Morvah brothers.
But alongside all the West Country delights, An Endless Cornish Summer is threaded through with some gritty, real-life issues and a fascinating exploration of topics ranging from sailing and archaeology to Cornish folklore and mythology and the crucial importance of medical donors.
Add on some intriguing twists and turns – all overlaid with an air of suspense and a brand of love and laughter that conjure up a special magic – and you have a Cornish holiday you wouldn’t want to miss!
(Avon, paperback, £7.99)