AmazonUK £1.99 £8.99
Amazon US $2.55 $11.99
Amazon CA $16.06
Romance / Family Drama
1914 - 18
It is delightful when one of the main characters is a place, not a person, when the scenery is described in as much detail and as vividly as the lead protagonist and the plot.
In the present day, Rachel Swift goes to Corsica, the place where her mother was born, with the intention of researching her family history. She finds some letters, which are anonymous but passionate and written to ‘Maria’. Gradually she uncovers the desperate love between the couple, the mountains they must climb to be together and the heartbreak they must endure.
Maria becomes a nurse when war breaks out – but more than this I am not saying, because it will spoil the story.
The House at Zaronza is an emotional, absorbing and powerful read, a story of betrayal, misunderstanding and a love story, all wrapped in the tragedy that these can, so often bring, especially when war is the main background.
The story is of the island during these turbulent years, and of the people – local inhabitants, invaders and who had to live, die, and survive.
This is a debut novel, and although written with passion and skill it could perhaps, as with all new authors, have benefitted from an additional structural edit, for the pace ebbs and flows a little, especially at the beginning. But do persevere – even if only for the delight of the descriptive scenery. Vanessa Couchman has a huge potential talent, and will be an author to watch, I think.
© Mary Chapple
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