Laura Callaway daily walks the windswept Cornwall coast, known for many shipwrecks but few survivors. She feels like a castaway, set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers. Now living with her parson uncle and his parsimonious wife in North Cornwall, Laura is viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong somewhere again.
When ships sink, wreckers scour the shore for valuables, while Laura searches for clues to the lives lost. She has written letters to loved ones and returned keepsakes to rightful owners. She collects seashells and mementos, and when a man is washed ashore, she collects him too.
As Laura and a neighbor care for the castaway, the mystery surrounding him grows. He has abrasions and a deep cut that looks suspiciously like a knife wound, and he speaks in careful, educated English, yet his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Their attraction grows, and while she longs to return the man to his rightful home, evidence against him mounts. With danger pursuing them from every side, will Laura ever find the answers and love she seeks?
Out May 2020
I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Julie Klassen is a wonderful storyteller. Her ability to create historical fiction with Christian messages is masterful. This book is one of her best.
Fully researched, she sets this book during Napoleonic times, Cornwall in 1813. Her research of customs and language of the era is fantastic and shown throughout her writing.
Her character struggles with a sense of belonging and not having a family, suffers inwardly because she feels isolated. She sets to finding family belonging to washed up items found on the local beaches and this is where she meets our other character, a man washed ashore after a wreck. After rescuing him, she appoints herself his caregiver until he recovers.
The characters are perfectly flawed and lacking in the ability to mend their shortcomings alone. There is a mystery in the air that needs resolving, and discovering the truth could resolve or destroy trust. The message found in this particular book for me was forgiving and understanding.
I really like the author’s voice and style of writing and know that others will too!
I gave it: