Picking this up from my shelf in a bid to make some sort of dent in it, I thought this would be a good book to while away a bank holiday with. How right I was.
Back in Cornwall, where Fern has set the majority of her novels, this was one with a difference. The story opens with Greer having returned from an inquest. Straight away you want to know what the inquest was for, someone has died, but who, why and how.
And so the book goes back to the beginning of Greer’s story, to 1975 and that of her other three friends, Loveday, Jesse and Mickey. To when they were at school and their whole lives were ahead of them, not knowing where any of them were going to end up. The world was their oyster as the cliché goes.
Trouble is someone else had other plans for two of these four, it meant that their world was never going to go farther than the fishing village of Trevay that they grew up in.
How far would you go to please your family? Would your choice mean that you never lived the life that you wanted? With who you wanted?
As the story progresses through the eighties, which I could remember and therefore could relate to this book in someway perhaps more than another era. We are effectively building up to the crescendo that we started the book with.
This is a book with strong characters the driving force behind the story. My feelings for Loveday, felt constant throughout the book. But for Greer, her attitude to life and always getting what she wanted frustrated me and left me feeling less than sorry for her. Mickey and Jesse friendship was strong and that came off the page, even when it seemed that something was about to break them in two.
Importantly in this book, is the setting of Cornwall, of a little fishing village, of the waves against the shore, the tides, the importance of water, the danger and delights that such a place can have. Fern Britton manages to bring that to life as much as the characters because the catch that these characters are going to get will not necessarily be the one they are waiting or hoping for.
Slightly different to the author’s other novels, but a good read to escape into.