Philippa Ashley brings us back to the Scilly Isles in Cornwall for a lovely story of family, finding one’s place and a dash of romance in
A Perfect Cornish Christmas
Last Christmas, Scarlett’s life was upended as she and her sister Ellie decided that an Ancestry.com-like series of DNA tests would be the perfect gift for their parents, to reinforce the belief that Viking’s blood runs through their veins. Unfortunately, rather than reinforcing that belief, the family is torn apart as it shows that Scarlett and her brother and sister are half-siblings, and the man she thought of as her father, isn’t. Of course, there were recriminations and upheaval, and Scarlett’s mother’s refusal to share the name or knowledge of her biological father, or in fact admit to straying, have split the family and caused Scarlett no end of guilt. When you add in Ellie’s finally finding a place to ‘settle’ in Porthmellow after leaving University with a heartbreak, and the ongoing tension between Scarlett and the rest of the family – the story is set to be intriguing from page one, with Ellie (the peacemaker) and Scarlett sharing their deceased Aunt’s home on the hill.
Told in third person – we get to discover the sister’s working through their own issues, their worries about their parent’s relationship, and see both of them find their own chance at romance – well, as long as the two of them let go of their trust issues and are honest with one another and their prospective partners. Of course, there are questions and mysteries, Scarlett is convinced that her father is a local, and her mother’s refusal to answer questions or even talk about her time in Porthmellow some thirty years ago creates havoc and anger – and, quite frankly, can make almost every interaction fraught with tension and the question of ‘what if”.
Eventually, as all of the Ashley stories that I’ve read do, answers and secrets come to light, and the actual connections are still there – from family to romantic, if only they will take a chance to trust once again. Filled with some locals that one may remember from her Little Cornish Isles series – the town is decked out for a traditional Christmas celebration with plenty of old pagan and Cornish traditions coming to life. Set in and around the isle with Ellie’s work at both the café and on a local tall ship are highlighted, along with the view from the beach, a swim in the harbor and plenty of heart and hope to carry the day.
Title: A Perfect Cornish Christmas
Author: Philippa Ashley
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Holiday Themed, Mystery Elements, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon Books UK
Published on: 31 October, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 8 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Christmas in Cornwall is just around the corner…
But after last Christmas revealed a shocking family secret, Scarlett’s hardly feeling merry and bright. All she wants this Christmas is to know who her real father is.
So Scarlett heads to the little Cornish town of Porthmellow, where she believes the truth of her birth is hidden. She just didn’t bargain on being drawn into the Christmas festival preparations – or meeting Jude Penberth, whose charm threatens to complicate life further.
Everything will come to a head at Porthmellow’s Christmas Festival … But can Scarlett have the perfect Christmas this year, or are there more surprises on the way?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.