When artist Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall shortly after the death of her husband, she hopes it will be the fresh start she and her step-daughter, Hannah, desperately need. Trevenen is beautiful but neglected, a rambling house steeped in history. Maddie is enchanted by it and determined to learn as much as she can about its past. As she discovers the stories of generations of women who've lived there before, Maddie begins to feel her life is somehow intertwined within its walls.
But Maddie's dream of a calm life in the countryside is far from the reality she faces. Still struggling with her grief and battling with Hannah, Maddie is unable to find inspiration for her painting and realises she may face the prospect of having to sell Trevenen, just as she is coming to love it. And as Maddie and Hannah pull at the seams of Trevenen's past, the house reveals secrets that have lain hidden for generations. This gorgeously sweeping debut from Liz Fenwick is touched with romance and mystery, a perfect summer listen.
Read by Anne Dover. Anne Dover has recorded many audiobooks as well as appearing in TV and radio commercials and listeners in the northeast will remember her Saturday night record show for Metro Radio in the late 1970s. Her TV appearances include Emmerdale Farm, Book Tower, Brideshead Revisited and A Kind of Loving.
©2012 Liz Fenwick (P)2012 Isis Publishing and the Orion Publishing Group
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"relaxing holiday read"
The audio version was easy listening and relaxing, a good holiday read and just the right length.
Anne Dover's performance was excellent, her voice is quietly soothing but she uses inflections and accents to highlight her characters making them easily identifiable.
an escape into a Cornish dream
overall great book, good storyline and enjoyable, recommended.
"Pretty dire chic-lit"
Someone who is looking for an easy read, who likes a bit of romantic escapism and who isn't looking for any in-depth connection with the characters or any major/ exciting plot developments.
Slow-moving plot where nothing of significance really happens. Stereotypical characters like the sulky teenager, cheery neighbour, hunky guy, etc.. There was nothing about the central character one could connect with - we didn't really get inside her head. Also, too much stuff 'just happening' in a soap-opera kind of way - e.g. woman inherits massive mansion in Cornwall from distant relative; friendly new neighbour comes round to help on day 1, electrician turns up to fix things at less than a day's notice ... just an over-romanticised view of 'country life', an unrealistic plot and unlikely set of events. Very cliched use of stock phrases which just made it come across like Mills & Boon or something you'd read in a woman's magazine
She did an OK job. She has a nice voice and she managed to distinguish the voices of the adult characters without sounding too strained, but her impersonation of the irritating 'whatever'; 'this sucks' teenager was embarrassing
Just really disappointed. I was expecting an engrossing read and this book did not engage me or want me to continue beyond the first few chapters
I was looking forward to this book and I just wish I'd been in a position to give a more positive review than this
This is a tale of an unbelievably tolerant and forgiving woman and is totally predicatable. This didn't stop me enjoying the book as an escape to another place on a long and boring car journey, but with an unbelievably stupid and niaive main character it was never going to reach the heights of a great read!
"A little let down by that grumpy teen"
The Cornish House seemed at first very promising, and while I got through the book ok, thanks to a brilliant narrator, I felt there were many holes and cul-de-sacs throughout the story. Ok, I understand teens can be menacing, frustrating, annoying critters with only regard for themselves, but such young adults don't suddenly become over the moon fond of old, retired men in the village, no matter how helpful they are with fixing objects in disrepair…
And the ghost…I just didn't get the ghost part. Either it is there, or its not. And if it is, I think it ought to have had a major role, not just being something to serve as cake fill. Take out the ghost, and the story will still be there, perhaps just a couple of pages shorter.
The book is ok if your expectations aren't too high, but I won't be listening to it again, to put it that way.
I really enjoyed this book. The story was really interesting, very descriptive so I felt I was really there. The story was good and interesting. Very well read as well.
I found this book nice and very easy read,I was able to see myself living there. it was read very well,and kept me wonting to not stop reading this book
"Didn't want it to finish!"
No…it was brilliant but I always remember a book so new one next time
Hannah was horrible but I think my favourite character was Maddie, closely followed by OT.
No, first time
Highly recommend this..made me laugh and cry!
Compelling thought provoking, descriptive
The Marriage Bed, because it drew me in and I really got the feel of the house.
Yes. Anne Dover is an excellent and vibrant narrator.
What secrets can do
My wife really enjoyed this, she hadn't read anything by Liz Fenwick before but from the beginning she knew she was going to enjoy it. The narrator was very easy on the ears! It was a book she could listen to in sections while busy doing other things, i.e. cooking, sewing etc.
The characters were very believable and they developed well and interestingly. Anne Dover gave them a good range of voices and her narration was pleasant. I might have given her 4 1/2 stars if the option was available because she occasionally lost her character's voice for a moment, but this was but a small inconvenience. A great story about complicated family relationships. It was difficult to put down. There was humour and optimism, sadness, doubt, anger - the characters were sympathetic bar one who who gave everyone the run around for a while - I don't want to spoil the story by giving away the end !
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