#BookReview: Tremarnock by Emma Burstall

Reviewer: Emma

I received a review copy


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


Set in a seaside village, Liz moves to Tremarnock to begin life again with her daughter Rosie to leave her cheating husband behind. Liz works many jobs to support her daughter with cerebral palsy and has no time left for herself. She loves her daughter more than anything, and will do whatever is takes to make her life as pleasant and normal as possible. With the help of her wonderful neighbor Pat, who babysits Rosie at night, Liz is just able to pinch pennies by working at night as a waitress and cleaning an office in the morning. 


With energetic Rosie by her side, Liz gets to know the residents of Tremarnock and makes friends quickly. Walking along the coast is one of their favorite activities the two do together, stopping to chat along the way. Liz befriends a couple named Iris and Jim, who own a small convenience store in the village. She visits with them, buys her cigarettes and her lottery ticket, in hopes that one day Rosie and her hit the jackpot and will live a better life. At work, she gets to know her boss Robert, a socially awkward man that Liz knows very little about. Robert takes a liking to Rosie, and they become fast friends.


Everything is going as usual in this village until something devastating happens. As the village begins to rally around Liz and Rosie, secrets come out that may be even more disastrous. The village of Tremarnock may never be the same…


The first half of this book read extremely slow for me. There was not much going on and simple events were given way too much detail. Right about halfway through is when the book came alive for me and I really got into the plot. I enjoyed the twists that were quite unexpected, and I got to know the characters much more and became invested in their stories. There was romance, but it did not overshadow the main story line, and Liz and Rosie’s relationship was so sweet and real. 


This is a great summer read if you can manage to get to the half way point, where the story really picks up! 

3 stars

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