Review: 'A Cornish Christmas' by Lily Graham (2016)
Nestled in the Cornish village of Cloudsea, sits Sea Cottage – the perfect place for some Christmas magic …
At last Ivy is looking forward to Christmas. She and her husband Stuart have moved to their perfect little cottage by the sea - a haven alongside the rugged cliffs that look out to the Atlantic Ocean. She’s pregnant with their much-longed for first baby and for the first time, since the death of her beloved mother, Ivy feels like things are going to be alright.
But there is trouble ahead. It soon emerges that Stuart has been keeping secrets from Ivy, and suddenly she misses her mum more than ever.
When Ivy stumbles across a letter from her mother hidden in an old writing desk, secrets from the past come hurtling into the present. But could her mother’s words help Ivy in her time of need? Ivy is about to discover that the future is full of unexpected surprises and Christmas at Sea Cottage promises to be one to remember.
Publisher Bookouture usually already treats us to numerous wonderful chick lit reads around the year, and luckily they also have some fantastic and promising Christmas novels to dive into during the weeks leading up to the holiday season this year. I straight away was intrigued by the sound of Lily Graham's 'A Cornish Christmas' (which was first released as 'The Postcard' and this a slightly extended version of the original story) and was really happy when I managed to get a review copy of the book through NetGalley. I was excited to sit down with it and see whether I'd end up enjoying it, and it would also provide me with the welcome chance to check out a new author...!
Ivy and Stuart have been through quite a lot together, but now that they've moved to the perfect cottage by the sea in the small town of Cloudsea, they are ready to start over. After many years Ivy is finally pregnant, and the only thing she wishes she could change is that her beloved mother would still be there to see it. She decides to move her mother's writing desk into her new home, but then she finds an old postcard that catches her attention. Suddenly all kinds of things start to happen in Ivy's life and this Christmas promises to become one she won't quickly forget.
Occasionally you stumble upon the kind of read that you can't and don't really want to describe to others, because they simply have to read and experience it themselves by picking it up; I feel that's also the case with Lily Graham's 'A Cornish Christmas'. I don't want to give too much about the plotline away in this review, but the story is a captivating one with a lovely magical touch to it. I personally really enjoy it when a novel has a bit of magic in it, especially around the holidays, so this was something I really loved about the book, especially since it wasn't as Christmassy as I would have expected from a book promoted as a festive read.
While in the end I really enjoyed the novel, it did take me a bit of time to get into it, and it felt like it took quite a few chapters before the story really got going. I thought the book had several nice details that I liked, such as Ivy's job as a children's book illustrator, Stuart's own business making all kinds of preserves, the idea of hope that really takes on an important role in the story; these details really made the book an even better read for me. I'm glad I got the chance to read this and already look forward to reading more of Lily Graham's work. All in all, 'A Cornish Christmas' isn't necessarily the most festive read, but it's a heartwarming and captivating tale filled with hope, and a lovely novel I thoroughly enjoyed.