31 May 2016

Review #448: Tremarnock by Emma Burstall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“He didn't realize that love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark.”

----J.K. Rowling

Emma Burstall, the English author's, latest book, Tremarnock not only explores the story of lives of the folks of a Cornish village surrounded by the harbor but also weaves a story of a mother and her undying love for her little daughter on the backdrop of this picturesque village.


A beautiful Cornish village, a shocking turn of events... Tremarnock is a classic Cornish seaside village. Houses painted in yellow, pink and white, cluster around the harbor, where fishermen still unload their daily catch. It has a pub and a sought-after little restaurant, whitewashed, with bright blue shutters. Here, Liz has found sanctuary for herself and young daughter, Rosie - far away from Rosie's cheating father. From early in the morning with her job as a cleaner, till late at night waitressing in the restaurant, Liz works hard to provide for them both. But trouble is waiting just around the corner. As with all villages, there are tensions, secrets - and ambitions.

Liz is a single independent mother of her little daughter, Rosie, who has cerebral palsy from birth. Liz lives at an attractive Cornish village, Tremarnock with her daughter. Although she cannot bring the moons and stars to her daughters, but Liz can go at any lengths to fulfill her daughter's dreams and wishes. Liz works two jobs, first as a cleaner in an office, and then as a waitress in a village restaurant. The good-ol' Cornish folks take care of Rosie all through out the day until Liz gets back home from work. Liz is self-sufficient, she won't beg for any financial help from anybody, until she can't arrange the financial means by herself. But their little bundle of joy is soon disrupted, when a strange and unfortunate tragedy strikes their content livelihood. And this situation might test Liz as a mother, but can Liz overcome it, despite the challenges on her way?

This is not the first time that I'm reading a book by Emma Burstall, so I'm quite acquainted with the author's enticing prose and charming way of telling a story to her readers. Firstly, the book's cover image is absolutely enchanting and eye-catchy and has a power to immediately arrest the minds of the readers to this beautiful landscape of this Cornish village. And right from the prologue, the story begs the readers to delve deeper into the core of this story.

The author weaves the story of a mother named, Liz, who loves her daughter, Rosie like anything and the readers get to feel this story deeply with the emotions and the words of the protagonist, Liz. The author has done a great job in portraying the deep, evocative emotions related to this story through the characters as the readers can easily sense it through their eyes. The story opens the door to this strikingly magnificent and tranquil background of this village where the readers are bound to feel like visualizing the setting right before their eyes. The author has vividly captured the streets, the architecture, the nature, the people, the language as well as the culture of this village, in short, the author has brought alive this village with her carefully chosen eloquent words.

The author stresses on a mother's challenges, rather than aiming her story towards romance, since from the book's cover, it feels like there is romance involved in the story, but the romance here is featured as a secondary aspect. Hence the main story line constantly revolved around Liz and her challenges she faced in her life, and how she fights hard to overcome those rocks on her path. Liz is like an epitome of all single, working-class mothers around the world, who work hard to make every ends meet and also in order to ensure the happiness of their child before her own happiness.

The author's writing style is articulate laced with deep emotions. The author's prose is crisp and clear and with such a free-flowing narrative style, that will definitely make the readers glued to the story. The story has so many unpredictable twists and turns, that will begs for a reader's attention till the very climax. The pace of the book is moderate, as there are lads of characters in this books, which are often hard to remember or keep a track of, also there are few layers in the story.

The characterization is absolutely fantastic, with an equally powerful central character, Liz, who is relatable and her grief and struggles will make the readers root for her till the very end. Rosie is one of the most adorable characters from the book whose innocence and cuteness is well captivated by the author through her voice. The rest of the supporting characters are very well-drawn and are equally inspired from reality.

Ina nutshell, this contemporary book is a must-read and this book is not to be confused as a light summer beach read, as it is layers and will provoke the thoughts of the readers, hence it is quite ideal to enjoy this book on a quiet afternoon.

Verdict: Compelling story of a mother set across the idyllic backdrop of a Cornish village.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Emma Burstall, for giving me the opportunity to read and review her book.

Author Info:
Emma is the author of four novels - Gym and Slimline, Never Close Your Eyes, Kindle Top Ten bestseller The Darling Girls and Tremarnock, the first in a Cornish trilogy.
She read English at Cambridge University and began her career as a cub reporter on the Western Morning News in Plymouth, later becoming features editor of Woman and Family Circle.
She has also written extensively for national newspapers and women’s magazines including the Guardian, Independent on Sunday, Red, Good Housekeeping and Woman & Home.
She gets by in French and Spanish and works out – occasionally – at her local gym. After walking her youngest to school, you might also spot her jogging in Richmond Park with some friends. Slowly.
Emma lives in South West London with her husband and they have three children.
She’s currently working on her fifth novel.
Visit her here

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