The Red Review

So Many Books… So Little Time!

by Julie Klassen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“The news of the wreck it soon spread along shore, And women and men ran for gain; Thus numbers they harden each other the more, That love of curst money may reign.”

Religious tract by an anonymous clergyman, A Castaway in Cornwall

Back at it again with another instant favorite, Julie Klassen’s latest release will leave you hungry to the very end. 

Food for Thought: The most page-turning books not only have one overarching point of tension but also include a bunch of minor struggles and triumphs. I have been thinking about this while debating why one book is more engaging than another. This book is one such book. The overarching tension being the war and Laura’s desire for closer, with a multitude of obstacles to overcome. Originally read at the end of December, I had forgotten how many shifts to the story there were. The summary only touches the surface of the beginning of the story.

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?

Lonely and abandoned, Laura is a character that many readers will bond and empathize with. After the death of her parents, she is given into the care of an uncle through marriage whose second wife dislikes and disapproves of the girl. Just like the items she finds washed ashore, she too longs to feel as if she belongs and matters to someone. Despite the hardships in her life, Laura is caring, compassionate, and strong. Given the opportunity to trade places, I am not sure if I would be able to handle her life with such grace and fortitude. 

Heart wrenching and tragic, Alexander’s past both saddened me and endeared him as a character worth empathizing with. I don’t want to say too much in order to keep the mystery alive, but if you are so blessed as to read this new release, you will discover a character full of strength, devotion, and determination despite life’s unfair way of unfolding. 

If you don’t know this yet, then you should know… I love history. Whether it be ancient, medieval, or World War I, I love learning about other cultures, contrasting views of famous historical events, or even about a time in our history that I know little to nothing about. Despite having read many books set during the regency era, I do not know much about the Napoleonic War. Having studied it in school, I know the basic gist, but beyond that, I am at a loss. A Castaway in Cornwall not only provides insights into this time in history but tells the story from a unique angle. You’ll just have to read the story to figure out what angle to which I am referring 😉 

Furthermore, I do not know much about Cornwall so it was a nice addition to have the language and customs incorporated into the story. 

I was given a free copy of the book, but the opinions in this review are completely my own.

The Red Review: ❤️❤️❤️❤️

***4 Stars: Compelling Characters, Well-Written, Interesting Storyline, Unable to Stop

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