12 July 2015

Book Review: Tremarnock by Emma Burstall

"Tremarnock is a classic Cornish seaside village. Houses cluster around the fishing harbour. It has a pub and a sought-after little restaurant. It is here that Liz has found sanctuary for herself and her young daughter, Rosie - far away from Rosie's cheating father.

Liz works all the hours God sends. First thing in the morning she's out, cleaning offices. At night she is waitressing in the village restaurant, while friends and neighbours rally round and mind Rosie. But trouble is waiting just round the corner.

As with all villages, there are tensions, secrets - and ambitions. Emma Burstall's wonderfully engaging first novel about Tremarnock is the story of what happens when one shocking turn of events sweeps a small community."

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Tremarnock as an eBook now, and pre-order as a paperback.

A few years ago, I read a book called The Darling Girls. I read it whilst on holiday in Majorca, and remember so obsessed with the book that I didn't want to put it down, even when we had the chance to go swimming and other lovely things in the sunshine! I loved that book, and so was absolutely thrilled when I heard Emma had a new book coming out with publishers Head of Zeus. Tremarnock is the first in a trilogy about a small Cornish seaside village, and I absolutely loved it. Here's why I think Tremarnock is a must-read this summer!

Once again this summer I've found myself back in Cornwall - it's almost like I don't need to go there now because I have read so much about it! Tremarnock is a fictional village there, where Liz lives with her young daughter Rosie, and they live alone since they've got away from Rosie's cheating father. Liz works hard to provide for the pair of them, and they enjoy the real community spirit that living in a small village brings. But when tragedy strikes for Liz and Rosie, the pair wonder how they're going to be able to make it through the tough times - but little do they know, the villagers who live in Tremarnock are about to support them through thick and thin...

This is going to be a tough one to review because it's really important that you don't know much about the book before you go into it, as so much of the joy is reading about the story unfolding as you progress through it. Rosie and Liz's relationship was a complete joy to read about though - it was the shining light throughout the whole book, and I admired Liz so much. She takes on the burden of being a single mother to Rosie on the chin, putting up with everything that comes with it, and she was so strong and a real character to be admired. They were a real little unit, together through everything and I really did enjoy reading about them so much.

Rosie, though, was just brilliant - Burstall has written the young girl so perfectly. She comes to life as you're reading - you can imagine her little face lighting up, enjoying the time with her mother, and I was so desperate for the pair of them to come through their tough times and find some happiness. Much of this book with Rosie was tough to read, very emotional and I found myself in tears some of the time because of the unfairness of it all. As well as Rosie and Liz, there's a lot of other characters in the book that bring it to life too. There's Liz's boss Robert, who owns the restaurant where she works part-time to make ends meet; Irene and Jim from the newsagents in town near Liz's other job, and many of Liz's elderly neighbours who often pop up to help with childcare. Together, they all make up an unforgettable cast of characters that you soon fall in love with, and don't want to leave behind.

Tremarnock was an utterly brilliant novel, and I honestly didn't want to stop reading once I had begun. I felt like I was living in Tremarnock along with the characters, eager to help out with the care for Rosie if I could! I really did love the relationship between Liz and Rosie, it was my favourite part of the book, but I loved how the whole community pulled together to rally behind Rosie and Liz in their tough time. There were a few shocking twists and turns in the book, one of which made me incredibly angry and frustrated - and who it involved made it even worse in my eyes! But I loved that the book was able to draw these differing emotions out of me, drawing me in to the story and leaving me sad when it was finished! I'm so pleased this is the first in a trilogy, as that means there is much more of Tremarnock to come! A super read with a fantastic cast, and a story you simply can't forget.

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