Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas in Cornwall

An Anglican convent in decline brings together a host of characters in Christmas in Cornwall, a novel that explores the implications of loss, the complexities of family and friendship and the need to feel loved.

Taking place in the English countryside from the Feast of the Epiphany to Advent, Marcia Willett (The Summer House) stitches together tender stories about the bonds between ordinary people: Jakey, a five year-old boy who believes that a real angel is keeping watch over him; Clem, his father, a young widower who comes to work at the convent after the death of his wife in order to regroup and be closer to his own mother; Dossie, Clem's mother, a widow herself and a successful caterer who has concerns for the well-being of her son and grandson and her elderly parents - along with romantic woes; Janna, an eccentric, single woman, cast adrift from a broken past, who feels she's finally found a home by working for the aging, quirky nuns. When a stranger arrives in town claiming to be writing a book about the history of the region, rumors swirl that he actually has secret designs on taking over the convent - an old, Elizabethan Manor House. Might his quest change the future for everyone?  

Willett has written a perfectly balanced ensemble piece - a gentle, moving story about faith and trusting in God's presence via the generosity of strangers, the love of friends and family and the miracle of Christmas.

Christmas in Cornwall by Marcia Willett
Thomas Dunne Books, $25.99, Hardcover, 9781250003706,  320 pp
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
To order this book via INDIEBOUND link HERE

Please note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (11/9/12), click HERE.