Tuesday 20 March 2018

Review ~ Coming Home by Fern Britton

Harper Collins
February 2018

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

What's it all about..

When the only place you want to be is home…

When Ella’s beloved grandmother dies, she comes back to the beautiful Cornish coast to heal her heart. There she finds her home again and discovers a new life, and new love… But she also opens a treasure trove of secrets.

Sennen left Cornwall a young single mum but unable to cope. She left her children, her
family and part of her. She’s spent the years hiding from her past, hiding from herself.
Now it’s time to come back. To Cornwall. To face her mistakes. To pray for forgiveness. To hope for a future with her daughter.

My thoughts about it..

This is my first venture into the Cornish world that Fern Britton has been so busily creating since her first novel, New Beginnings, way back in 2011. This latest novel is now her seventh book and whilst they are all stand alone stories, they nevertheless share a Cornish theme, with some recurring characters. 

In Coming Home the story starts with the lovely Ella who has returned to Cornwall following the death of her adored grandmother, Adela. That there is more to Ella's return becomes apparent when family secrets concerning Ella, and her brother, Henry start to be revealed. For not only does Coming Home focus on Ella and Henry, but it also gives us the story of their mother, Sennen, who abandoned them, into the care of their grandparents, Adela and William, when she was just seventeen years old.

Allowing both strands of the story to evolve gives a real insight into the way that Sennen's abandonment of her children affected, not just Ella and Henry, but also that of her own parents, Adela and William, who bewildered by the disappearance of their much loved daughter, then had the responsibility of raising two tiny children who missed their mother, so dreadfully.

At times, this was a quite an emotional read, especially when Sennen's life after her disappearance is laid bare, and I found myself looking forward to the chapters in which she takes centre stage. Not that there is anything lacking in the modern day story, far from it, as the author captures the hurt and bewilderment which even now, years later as adults, Ella and Henry are still experiencing. I enjoyed getting to know Ella, her boyfriend Kit, who is rather special, and her brother Henry, whose hurt and sadness over his mother's abandonment is still raw and palpable.

The author writes with a fine eye for detail and has a lovely way of bringing the story to life so that it feels authentic and believable. The glorious Cornish setting comes alive and whilst it is obvious that this is forming an important backdrop to the story, it is in the character detail where the story really comes alive. The sense of family drama and hidden secrets is a theme which runs throughout the story and is skillfully and emotionally explored.

As I said at the beginning, this is my first visit to Fern Britton's, Pendruggan, but after reading Coming Home, I am sure that I will be making further visits, perhaps even starting at New Beginnings and working my way along from the start.

Fern Britton is a highly acclaimed Sunday Times bestselling author. Her books are cherished for their warmth, wit and wisdom, and have won Fern legions of loyal readers.

A hugely popular household name through iconic shows such as This Morning, Fern is also a much sough-after presenter.

Fern is deeply committed to a number of charities, in particular the Genesis Research Trust. She lives with her husband, Phil Vickery, and her four children in Buckinghamshire and Cornwall.

Twitter @Fern_Britton #ComingHome


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