Cornish Reading Challenge: Liz Fenwick’s Recommendations

Author Liz Fenwick shares her recommendations for the Cornish Reading Challenge 2017.

Liz Fenwick signing at Truro Waterstones | Copyright: Jules Mortimer. Reproduced here with permission.

There have been some wonderful new books set in Cornwall. Each of them brings out a different aspect of the delectable Duchy. So without further delay here’s a small selection of my most recent favourites.

The Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book filled with keen human insight and magic realism which somehow touches the essence of Cornwall at its core. Towards the end of the book I could no longer hold back and was underlining in pencil sentences that were so…exquisite. Warning…as there is much magic realism in this book it will not be to everyone’s tastes.

The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan. Beautiful, authentic, compelling. I loved it.

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings. Dark, gripping emotional… a fab read filled with a sense of dread.


The Swordfish and The Star by Gavin Knight. This social history explores Cornwall and the coast from the point of view of those fishing it, painting and farming it but mostly fishing it. I loved the insight and it’s a book that I will read again.

Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place by Philip Marden. A non-fiction look at why we react so strongly to the land. Marsden looks at the mystic like pull of the landscape and our response to it. I know I react so strongly to the landscape in Cornwall, it’s my muse after all, but it’s was fascinating to look at it from a more ‘academic’ approach.

I could keep listing books…for pure escapism try Phillipa Ashley’s Cornish series, or Jill Mansell’s The Unpredictable Consequences of Love, or for a historical twist Victoria Cornwall’s The Thief’s Daughter.

Which books will you choose for the challenge this year?

Don’t forget to enter the competition to win a copy of The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick! Full details can be found here.


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