Over the past 11 days, I’ve been reading a stave a day of Daughters of Cornwall by Fern Britton through the Pigeonhole app. You may remember my review of The Catch that I read through that app. As a bust work at home mum. Reading a stave a day when it’s released from a book is achievable. What drew me to Daughters of Cornwall was its connection with Cornwall of course, I was also I was a huge fan of Ready Steady Cook with Fern when I was a kid! This is the first book I’ve read by Fern.
The Great War is over, and Clara Carter has boarded a train bound for Cornwall – to meet a family that would once have been hers. But they must never discover her secret…
Hannah has always been curious about her mother’s mysterious past, but the outbreak of the Second World War casts everything in a new light. As the bombs begin to fall, Hannah and her brothers are determined to do their bit for the war effort – whatever the cost.
Caroline has long been the keeper of her family’s secrets. But now, with her own daughter needing her more than ever, it’s time to tell the truth – to show Natalie that she comes from a long line of women who have weathered the storms of life, as hardy and proud as the rugged Cornish coastline…
What I Thought
As I mentioned earlier this is the first book I’ve read from Fern Britton and I can say I absolutely love it. Daughters of Cornwall is a family saga told over the three generations. The lead character is Clara Carter who becomes Clara Bolitho (I can hear my dad saying to me that Bolitho is a strong Cornish surname!). Clara is not your usual character, she’s a penniless young girl from Kent and wants a better life for herself. She hides too many secrets for my liking and this carries on throughout the whole book. I’m having to be careful not to spill any spoilers here! The book starts off just before The Great War, where you meet Clara and her beloved Bertie Bolitho. Of course, things happen and she gets on a train to Cornwall to see the Bolitho family.
She moves on and marries Bertie’s brother Ernest and they move to Penang. We don’t hear a lot of what happens out there over the next few years, but she sends back her two children, Edward and Hannah to live with the Bolitho family in Cornwall. Clara eventually returns home minus Ernest but with another child in tow. David.
We are then moved forward to the Second World War, Edward and Hannah head off to war. Fighting for their country. This section is my favourite part of the book. Reading Hannah’s story. Then last up we are brought up to the present day, with Caroline reading through old letters that arrived in a mysterious trunk from Penang.
Daughters of Cornwall is a really great read. It’s full of strong woman characters, secrets, and intriguing storylines. I loved it following the family generations over the 100 years. However, it did end a bit fast for me. Some of the characters I feel were not developed enough, it has left me with a few questions about what happened to so and so. I found it pretty faced paced for a family saga story and this I enjoyed.
Thanks to Fern and to Pigeonhole for the chance to get a first look.