My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Cornish Escape was my first book by Lily Graham and, in the best possible way, was completely different from what I thought it would be. I was expecting a light and fluffy beach romance but, while there are in fact two romances, what really captivated me was the mystery. There’s something very haunting about it in places and I loved the authors writing style. It drew me in completely and I found it very difficult to put it down
It has also convinced me that I absolutely must run away to Cornwall.
The Blurb (from GoodReads)
Get swept away along the beautiful Cornish coast with two love stories, centuries apart in time but entwined at their hearts.
Victoria Langley’s world crumbles when her husband leaves, but she knows exactly where to go to mend her broken heart. The rugged shores of Cornwall will be her perfect sanctuary.
In the quaint, little village of Tregollan, nestled in the sea cliffs, Victoria is drawn to Seafall Cottage, covered in vines and gracefully falling apart. Inside she finds a diary full of secrets, from 1905.
Victoria is determined to unravel the diary’s mystery, but the residents of Tregollan are tight-lipped about Tilly Asprey, the cottage’s last owner. Just as she reaches a dead end, Victoria meets Adam Waters, the lawyer handling the cottage’s sale. He’s handsome, charming, and has a missing piece of the puzzle.
Tilly’s diary tells a devastating love story that mirrors Victoria’s own. Can Victoria learn from Tilly’s mistakes, and give herself a second chance at love? Or is history doomed to repeat itself?
An unputdownable and gorgeously romantic read about lost love and new beginnings set in the green hills and rocky cliffs of the breath-taking Cornish coast. Perfect for fans of Phillipa Ashley, Emma Burstall and Liz Fenwick.
The Cornish Escape is really two stories in one. The first follows Victoria in the present day as she runs away to a small Cornish village after her husband tells her he’s been having an affair. Trying to figure out where she goes from here and on sabbatical from work she comes across an abandoned cottage hidden away beside the cliffs. She falls in love with it and begins to investigate its history with the help of local lawyer Adam.
What she discovers is the story of Tilly Asprey whose feelings seem to mirror her own in many ways. Flashing back to 1905, we discover what happened to Tilly.
While I enjoyed Victoria’s story in many ways the highlight of this book was Tilly’s story and the mystery surrounding Seafall cottage. I loved the slightly creepy and haunting atmosphere the author created around it and was absolutely fascinated by it. In many ways the story in the present day felt almost secondary although I did like all of the superstitions around the cottage and the quirky characters the author created.
Victoria was definitely a character I could relate to but Tilly was much more captivating to read. I loved her passion, her determination and also her rebelliousness. She fights for what she wants and the people she cares for regardless of their background or social status. Similarly the romance that played out through the diary and letters was for me far more interesting and believable than the one in the current day.
The story is possibly not the most original but it does make for some gripping reading as Victoria gradually uncovers the clues from the past. My main complaint however is that ending. Without giving any spoilers it just left me with too many questions. I know not everything can be wrapped up neatly in every story but I still think this needed another chapter.
Overall, an enjoyable and captivating read that was completely different from the fluffy, light romance I expected. It just needs a better ending.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC. As always all opinions are my own.