The Lamorna Reach is a powerful setting for this historical novel. It is ‘land’s end’ in everything but name, part of the coastline forever tossed by storms, which reverberate throughout this tale and are echoed by the passions and experiences of the elemental characters.
Issy Penhalligan, the heroine, is a foundling who is rescued by sheer good fortune from abandonment. She grows up to be beautiful and intelligent, and as such arouses the jealousy and enmity of many of those in her neighbourhood. Initially she has to be a domestic servant, but she has ambitions beyond that.
Issy falls under the spell of the charismatic but menacing Tobias Carmichael. They have two trysts – one when she is the victim, a virgin girl, the next when she is a mature assertive woman. She has gathered the strength to match Carmichael, and break free from him to go on her independent travels. These take her as far as the West Indies, where she has a prosperous marriage for a while, but must then return. She finally meets her fate at the hands of the inexorable waves, but lives on in memory.
“This novel is a rich tapestry of history, local colour and period costume. A totally enthralling read” David Russell
For a fuller review see Paul Dolinsky’s review on Amazon