High Tide by Veronica Henry review

High Tide, a beautiful story set in a fictional Fowey-esque town, where community spirit sits hand in hand with a whole host of characters you’re bound to fall in love with.

While many might think that High Tide looks to be an easy breezy romance story, as we turned the pages and delved deeper and deeper into the story, we found that the novel focused poignantly far more on the theme of loss, wellbeing and the emotional road to recovery and, it seems, the different ways characters could get there.

While romances and new relationships blossomed throughout the book, it was stirringly poignant to read a book set in a fictional seaside village inspired by Fowey where each character has been touched by loss in some way, shape, form or another.

At such unsettling times like these, it felt very close to home and showed how, out of grief, there can sometimes bring a little good.

Veronica Henry shows how communities coming together, looking after one another, can bring so much warmth, positivity and happiness in times of loss.

The autumnal winds that sweep a picturesque seaside village after the mad rush of summer is evident in this book and it was comforting to read something which echoed the thoughts and daily life from villagers who can relax into their lives again once the bustle of summer has passed.

High Tide

Veronica Henry writes in a way that reflects the beauty of fictional harbourside town, Pennfleet, while also creating characters that ring true in a very real and comforting way. From teens still grieving over the loss of their mother to young New Yorker Kate, who returns home for her mother’s funeral, this book features a whole host of characters who you encounter in an affectionate and tumbling stir of emotions.

Not to mention Nathan, the young and handsome funeral-cab-driver-come-entrepreneur-boatman, who finds himself romantically entangled with the village’s attractive widow, Vanessa.

Every single character you meet, as well as their romances brewing, will have you smiling, laughing, yet we hope not crying. (But we won’t judge if you happen to have a pack of tissues at your side.)

More than anything, there was a strong pull of community emanating from this book. By the end, it felt as if everybody knew each other, that their stories were all somehow intertwined, and their happy endings were invariably shared. Perhaps, right now, we can all learn a thing or two from this and be kind to those around us.

A beautiful and stirring seaside read, which will leave you wondering which character you loved the most.

Book Launch: A Confusion of Mary’s with Sarah Cave, Rupert Loydell and special guest Maria Stadnicka

A Confusion of Mary's

We had the pleasure of welcoming talented poets Sarah Cave and Rupert Loydell to our bookshop for the launch of their stunning poetry book, A Confusion of Mary’s, last week along with special guest Maria Stadnicka.

During these strange and troubling times, we were pleased to welcome such an enthusiastic turn out with many familiar and smiling faces decking out the chairs before our makeshift stage where Sarah, Rupert and Maria proudly read out their work.

Sarah Cave, Rupert Loydell and Maria Stadnicka

Sarah, Rupert and Maria

While Sarah, who is currently completing her poetry PhD at Royal Holloway, is a returning poet to our wonderful shop, this was a first time visit for both Rupert and Maria.

We loved having them with us and were captivated by their words about hope, the representation of biblical Mary, and the turbulent times humanity faces throughout the world from their poetry.

Rupert Loydell reading his poetry

Rupert reading his poetry

Rupert is a professional poet, abstract artist, and Senior Lecturer in the School of Writing and Journalism at Falmouth University, inspiring many future and current writers of today.

Maria is a professional poet, journalist, and PhD researcher at the University of the West of England. Incredibly, she travelled all the way from Gloucestershire to speak at our event.

Maria reading her poetry

Maria reading her poetry

As each poet spoke, the audience listened intently with either a glass of red wine or (for the drivers!) a fresh orange juice to hand. From A Confusion of Mary’s, both Sarah and Rupert performed poetry full of wit, beautiful imagery and bursts of feminism sewn throughout.

With Rupert’s fresh sense of humour paired with Sarah’s artistic prop making and poetic flourish, it certainly made for an exciting and entertaining evening.

Sarah reading her poetry

Sarah using her props while performing poetry

As Maria took to the floor, her words swept us away as she transported us back to times of turbulence and through the eyes of childlike countenance upon witnessing national events, such as the 2017 London bridge attack and all that happened.

Treating us further to a poem not yet published and only recently written, the audience listened attentively while she read out her work with moving reverence.

As the evening drew to an end, a round of applause paraded through the room from the audience. Afterwards, copies of Sarah and Rupert’s and Maria’s poetry books were available to purchase and get signed while familiar chatter buzzed all around.

Sarah Cave and Rupert Loydell

Sarah and Rupert at the end of the evening

We loved hosting such a fantastic event filled with brilliant words and imagery and look forward to welcoming them back.

Each poets’ published works are available at Lost in Books. Please either come in and visit our shop to browse, or place an order using our online order form.

We host as many bookish events and activities as possible here at Lost in Books. Check our Twitter for the latest news and updates and we’ll look forward to seeing you soon.

Top 10 Romantic Reads Set in Cornwall

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we wanted to share the love with our top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall.

From contemporary authors, such as Liz Fenwick and Jill Mansell, to  classics from Daphne Du Maurier, it’s no secret that Cornwall and romance practically go hand in hand.

So sit back with a cup of tea (and maybe a cheeky biscuit) and take a look at our top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall. We hope you love these books just as much as we do.

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier

Haven’t we all dreamed of a romantic getaway with a reckless and menacing, yet altogether rather handsome, pirate? In Frenchman’s Creek, one of Du Maurier’s most famous novels aside from Rebecca, we see Dona, Lady St Columb, do just that.

Set along the Helford river in South Cornwall, this is a classic Du Maurier story blending romance with suspense and adventure. Oh, how we swooned!

But can this dangerous love entanglement last? Those who have read it will know, while those who are yet to discover this wonderful novel will find out.

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

This is one of our favourite romances set in Cornwall.

When it comes to writing about this beautiful county, Liz Fenwick has been frequently heralded as the ‘Queen of the contemporary Cornish novel’. With unforgettable characters, a tantalising secret, and a heartbreaking romance, this novel is an engrossing story guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.

Set partly in wartime, it’s full of Cornish history,  featuring a great deal of the Falmouth area which many local readers will recognise, including Mawnan Smith church, The Ferryboat Inn, and Trebah bay where many soldiers famously set off from in pursuit of the D-Day landings.

The Cornish Village School series by Kitty Wilson

The Cornish Village School series is an absolute joy to read and a breath of fresh air when it comes to writing laugh-out-loud romantic comedy set in Cornwall.

Set in the fictional village of Penmenna, follow Rosy Winter’s story as a compassionate and lovable headteacher, who adamantly does not want anything to do with love.

Except, when handsome TV gardener, Matt, comes to the village and Rosy ends up spending a lot of time with him, she can’t fight the attraction that seems to pull them together. 

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

A romance set against the backdrops of Cornwall in the 1920s which is full of splendour and artistic reverence. When young and naïve Lou meets the wild and wondrous Cardew siblings, she’s invited to step into the world of glamour and lavish parties of the era.

As the summer goes on, Lou finds herself more and more drawn to the handsome brother, and the subtle hints of attraction dotted throughout the book are guaranteed to delight any ardent reader of romance.

Set at a time when the world was full of glitz and dreamy glimmer in the 1920s, this book is perfect for fans of The Great Gatsby.

High Tide by Veronica Henry

Described by Veronica Henry herself as being set in a ‘fictional Fowey’ town, this book is a gem to fall in love with, featuring heart warming and relatable characters trying to make their way through the inevitable highs and lows of life – and wrangle unexpected romances along the way.

With narrow winding streets, the tinkling chatter within teashops and cafes, and a beautiful beachside setting to make this book the perfect go-to, you can be sure to turn the pages and find yourself firmly planted in Cornwall.

Kook by Chris Vick

Although a romance, this striking novel is also as dark and brooding as the storm clouds above the sea. When fifteen year old Sam moves to Cornwall and makes friends with a group of passionate surfers, he also falls for the wild and turbulent Jade, who longs to catch the biggest wave around and become a world-famous surfer, no matter what the cost.

With enough heart and vigour to make you want to run towards the sea, this book is powerful – and might just make you want to pick up a board and go surfing yourself along the shores of Cornwall’s coastline.

It Started With a Secret By Jill Mansell

With so many bestselling novels to her name, Jill Mansell’s most recent book is set in Cornwall featuring Lainey, a woman who is absolutely ready to leave love behind and start fresh with a new life beside the sea. There’s just one problem.

She can’t deny the spark between her and her new boss’s perfectly charming (and extremely attractive) grandson, Seth – who already has a seemingly wonderful girlfriend.

But when neither Lainey nor Seth have been completely honest with each other, does that mean there’s hope on the horizon for a future?

Blue by Lisa Glass

Get lost in the sand, sun and waves as you get swept up in Iris and Zeke’s love story, remembering to hold on when the sea gets a little too choppy, and discover a gorgeous beach read with plenty of spark, love and heart.

This fantastic sun and surf romance series is largely set along Fistral Beach in Newquay, filled with surf culture here and there and a romance to keep you hanging on to every word.

Lisa Glass spends a lot of time writing her books in Newquay itself, which works wonders for putting you right there in the novel as you turn each page.

A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

The latest summer read by successful author Phillipa Ashley sees the fictional town of Porthmellow aiming to host their annual food festival. Sam Lovell, the organiser of the event, was looking forward to it all … except when their star guest pulls out of the festival, it means someone else has to step in.

That someone else is London chef Gabe Matthias who Sam knows all too well and hoped she would never have to see again.

With many recogniseable little spots of Cornwall popping in and out of the book, this is a fantastic summer read which will have you dying to whip the sunglasses and sunscreen out.

Poldark series by Winston Graham

How could we write about love stories set in Cornwall and not include one of Cornwall’s most celebrated love affairs? Captain Poldark and Demelza’s romance has remained popular across generations and, in a time when life and love is hard, this seemed the perfect place to almost end our countdown of top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall.

Do you have any more suggestions for romantic reads set in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Lost in Books Celebrates New Look

To celebrate the new decade in style, Lost in Books has developed a slight makeover which we can’t help but adore. Now, the shop beckons readers in with a more gradual blur between the bookshop and its partnered home décor shop, Atticus and Willow.

Plants adorn our walls, the shelves and rustic tables. We have a book fairy, complete with wings and pages from classic literature which make up her wonderful dress. If they wish to, visitors to the shop can whisper their reading wishes for 2020 into her palms, in which she holds an open book.

Lost in Books interior

Two rocking horses now stand elegantly in front of our books and decorative tables. They add a nostalgic element to the shop and bring back memories to those who remember them from childhood.

And all around, we lovingly stock the very latest books, as well as quality preloved copies, to cater for all our readers and their eclectic tastes.

Lost in Books interior

The entire shop seems particularly more spacious with added opportunity to shelve more books. While we make sure to stock the very best and antiquarian titles with plenty of variety, we can also happily order books in for those looking for a very special something. Here at Lost in Books, no task is too small when it comes to placing the right book into a reader’s hands.

‘We decided to change the arrangement within the shop so we could create a space for workshops and author events,’ says our bookshop owner Amanda Davidge. ‘I share the shop with Atticus and Willow run by the very creative Mel Askew. Her focus is on plant and nature based styling for the home, which compliments the range of nature books I sell. Re arranging the shop allowed us to blend our two great loves: books and plants.’

Lost in Books interior

The process of changing the shop layout took an entire week and we bravely fought off the urge to grab a coffee and take extensive breaks curled up with a good story in a small reading nook. With a lot of hard work and a considerable amount of time, we didn’t rest until we got the shop looking exactly how we wanted it. The end result was wonderful.

As we launch ourselves into a new decade, our hopes and dreams for the future remain humble yet ardently optimistic. There are so many excellent new titles coming out this year and we can’t wait to get our hands on them and share them with our readers.

When it comes to new titles, Amanda is particularly excited about two big novels set to grace the shelves of 2020. ‘I’m really looking forward to the new book by Hilary Mantel and the second book by Raynor Winn, following on from The Salt Path which was my bestselling book last year.’

Children's literature

Besides the excitement for new books, we’re also looking forward to hosting many more events and workshops. Think author events, book signings, poetry nights and World Book Day celebrations.

‘I would like to develop the social enterprise element of the shop, broadening my reach into the community,’ says Amanda. ‘I have already attended some local schools and colleges promoting the love of reading and the importance it has for our wellbeing.’

We are also proud to be hosting our very own children’s book group, Atticus Authors and Willow Writers, which we are hoping to launch in early spring later this year. The group will focus on choosing a book to read for the month and promote engaging workshop sessions for children, designed with a love of books and reading in mind.

When it comes to sharing our new layout with customers, we’re pleased to have received extremely positive feedback. People like the space and tell us it feels more spacious, light and airy. As the winter weather lingers on, we think now is the perfect time to dedicate more time to reading.

After all, ‘a book is a dream that you hold in your hand’ (Neil Gaiman).

Happy reading. We look forward to welcoming you.

 

 

My Bookshop Advent Calendar

Welcome to our biggest blog post ever!

To celebrate the Christmas countdown, we have been posting little snippets of book recommendations – one each day – as part of our own themed advent calendar on our Twitter and Instagram pages throughout December.

Now, with Christmas Day almost here, we thought what better way to share all our favourite books with you than in one place right here on our blog.

Why not sit down with a mince pie (or two) and join us as we get lost in a world of books?

Day 1: The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Day 2: To See Clearly: Why Ruskin Matters by Suzanne Fagence Cooper

“To see clearly is Poetry, prophecy, religion all in one.”  A perfect present for art lovers and writers.

Day 3: The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The perfect present for any child. A classic favourite.

Day 4: No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton

Our resident 13 year old said it was “a really good book”. As a winner of the Books Are My Bag Reader Awards, this novel is wonderful for young teenagers.

Day 5: Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield

This beautifully written lyrical narrative is ideal for those who love a good story.

Day 6: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

One of our customers chose this book, wanting a brilliant tale from Cornwall to send as a present to her friend in America.

Day 7: The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare

A winter journal fantastic to read at this time of year. It reveals an observation and celebration of the rhythm of the season.

Day 8: The Gifts of Reading by Rob Macfarlane

We would love to give every book by Rob Macfarlane as a gift for Christmas, but this one is truly an exquisite stocking filler.

Day 9: Book of Dust – Vol II: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

An amazing gift for all the fans of Philip Pullman.

Day 10 and 11: Any poetry book from the award winning publishers Guillemot Press

We are always proud to host events with Guillemot Press. They joined us for Lostwithiel’s recent Dickensian Evening, selling poetry collections in our shop.

Day 12: The Natural Home by Hans Blomquist

Our shop is full of books, plants and cosy places to hide. This book in particular is one of our favourites and a delightful gift for our customers.

Day 13: Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Another classic from Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Peepo is the perfect present for young children and our best selling baby book.

Day 14: Time and Place: A Pocket Book on the Art of Calendars by Alexandra Harris

All royalties for this book are donated to Common Ground, supporting arts and environmental projects that celebrate the seasons in our lives.

Day 15: A Single Thread by Tracey Chevalier

We have read and loved all her novels and this will definitely be one of our holiday reads.

Day 16: Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

This is a brilliant book for all Jane Austen fans. Focusing on the places Jane lived in while she was writing, this book provides a great insight into the author’s life and the social history of her time.

Day 17: Polkerris: A History of the Village and its Pilchard Fishery by Nigel Hall

For those of us living in Cornwall, a book about our local history makes a great present at Christmas.

Day 18: Do Inhabit

Do Inhabit from the The Do Book Company is part of a series of books designed to help you learn something new and help keep you motivated when it comes to starting a new project. A fantastic gift for this time of year.

Day 19 and 20: Vintage classics Little Grey Rabbit’s Christmas by Alison Uttley and Fell Farm for Christmas by Marjorie Lloyd

Sometimes the old ones are the best!

Day 21: The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide for 2020 by Lia Leendertz

A magnificent read for all book and nature lovers.

Day 22: Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Brambly Hedge!

Day 23: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

The perfect read if you’re looking for something absorbing, unusual and well written.

Day 24: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Our final choice for the Christmas advent calendar – a true classic!

We want to wish all our customers a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.