Kate Ryder comes to the blog with a story of family, hope and second chances all set in Cornwall in
Cottage on a Cornish Cliff
Following up the story from Summer in a Cornish Cove, this story brings us back to choices made and chances pushed off for both Cara and Oliver, as their hearts are both searching for something more. I read the first and found the atmosphere of the place, and Cara’s struggles after losing her beloved Christo, her artwork and her friends and family banding together were standouts, and I think the relationship between she and Oliver lost much in the ‘romance’ department for me – as he was married and playing out – even as he refused to see the limitations of his situation. But now we are two years-ish on, and Cara has a new little boy, Toby, fathered by Oliver – and is doing her best to hold it all together, reveling in her children, creating her “Cornwall infused” art, and trying to sort out just why she feels uncomfortable with Greg, now recently widowed and her ‘mentor’ to all things artistic, constantly pushing her to shed the ‘hippie artiste’ veneer and step into the world of the ‘up and comers’ in the art scene. And, poor Cara, content with her own tiny gallery and uncomfortable with all the expectations from Greg – and his constant push to get her to the States and into his bed – it truly is a self-serving (and rather creepy) portrayal of desperation thinly veiled behind a mask of ‘helpful’.
But again, Ryder brings the magic of Cornwall to the forefront – as Oliver is struggling in their newly defined marriage, watching his youngest son retreat and withdraw, worried that the young boy is suffering from a similar depression. His wife Deanna is ‘asserting her control’ and showing the many cracks in her own façade – making choices and proclamations for the family without any regard for Oliver – and clearly attempting to punish him at every turn for the summer with Cara. A bit more grasping and cold-hearted than I originally saw her as in the first book – when Oliver fell into her game as she used their youngest son to rein him in – the continued attempts to punish and show herself as in control did them both a disservice -sadly, it took Oliver a bit to put his own guilt into perspective and see that what they had developed was not good for them or the kids. And his depression – worsening and becoming a daily struggle, only lessened by close examination of the painting from Cara’s hand in his study. Despite the less-than-ideal way these two found one another, the love and desire between Oliver and Cara is clear to see.
It’s going to take significant time, a quick chance encounter, and a declaration of love worthy of a Hallmark movie to bring these two together again. And Ryder brings us there through multiple moments with friends, family, self-reflection and self-discovery – all neatly detailing and infusing the story with the touchstone of Cornwall and it’s wildly changeable beauty. From the cliffs and giant waves to quiet estuaries, tropically lush gardens, cloudless skies that bring the stars to your fingertips we are treated to both Cara and Oliver reaching for and clinging to the star they built from hope, heart and love into a future full of possibility and potential. This one added the heart and sense of character I missed in the first – and brings a whole new sense of ‘fated’ to this couple.
Title: Cottage on a Cornish Cliff
Author: Kate Ryder
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: Aria
Published on: 16 October, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon
Returning to the heart of her beloved Cornwall, Kate Ryder weaves another deliciously irresistible tale of desire, jealousy and the search for understanding, set against the stunning backdrop of the glorious Lizard Peninsula.
Globally renowned actor Oliver Foxley has made the most difficult decision of all and set the love of his life free, in order to try and bring his family back together. But there's a magnetic pull back to both Cara and Cornwall that Oliver can neither deny nor resist...
Heartbroken for a second time in her short life, single mother Cara knows she has no choice but to pick up the pieces yet again and carry on. Perhaps a complete change of scenery would help her, and her young family? Yet her mind, spirit and heart yearn for the windswept shores of her Cornish Cove...
Cara and Oliver face the agonising choice between following expectations, or following their hearts. How will their story end...?