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WTDN: Book review – The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

What Tracey Did Next... Posted on Wed, March 29, 2017 15:51:07

The following is the transcript from my Sunday Girl radio show Book of the Week feature (Every Sunday 10am-12 on Siren FM 107.3)
If you would like to hear the feature please click here:


The Sunday Girl (no.176) Book of the Week (26/3/17) is the
latest offering by previous Sunday Girl Author of the Week, Liz Fenwick, whose
books, to date, have all been set in her beloved, contemporary Cornwall.
The Returning Tide, which was released this week (23/3/17) by Orion, is no
The difference this time, is time itself, as The Returning Tide has a split
timeline between the now and the second world war and is also geographically
split between Cornwall, England and America.
American, Laura connects the two locations and English, Elle connects the two
eras. Laura is desperately trying to unravel family secrets, while dealing with
her own emotional, and practical, circumstances, and Elle is tightly holding
onto her own family secrets, some that she, herself, doesn’t want to know
As Elle gets older, and Laura travels to Cornwall to continue her quest for
knowledge, it becomes a race against
time for her to persuade Elle to provide the missing pieces which could explain
Does she find out? You will have to read this intriguing story to find out!

Write what you know is the common mantra for writers and Liz has done just this,
in her previous Cornwall-based books, as she, herself, has a home near the
Helford River.
I used to live in the same village and that is why I started to read Liz’s
novels. I can therefore say with absolute authority that her descriptions of
the area are spot on. When someone goes sailing, or swimming, walks along a beach
or goes in the local pub, Liz describes both the scenery and the atmosphere, all
down to a perfect T. It was a place I loved living in and reading her novels
makes me really homesick for the area – which I think says a lot about Liz’s

Liz was born in Massachusetts, USA, and so the other side of the pond locations
and scenes have the same validity as the Cornwall ones.
I feel that with every book that she writes, Liz grows as an Author and The
Returning Tide added the extra challenge of having to research an era that she
was not a part of herself. Using both archival sources and firsthand accounts,
Liz has created an exemplary description of wartime life via the lives of twins
Adele and Amelia.

Not all, make do and mend or dances, Liz also recreates the horrors of war –
especially in one nail-biting, scene experienced by the helpless-feeling,
Adele. I actually felt quite educated about some aspects of the day to day
realities of living and working in the war.

I am not one for reading wartime-based books so I,
initially, didn’t really fancy this latest offering and, I have to admit that
the cover is a big minus point for me (sorry, Liz!) – I just wouldn’t have
picked it up, if I hadn’t already enjoyed reading books from the same author.
The first few books, from The Cornish House onwards, had more contemporary,
cleaner, fresher covers but a contemporary-vintage cover would have appealed
to me far more. But, that is the only minus point that I can come up with. It’s
not even bad it’s just my personal opinion and preference and I would have
missed out on reading it – which would have been a big shame. In this case
don’t necessarily judge the book by its cover.

The story itself has plenty of twists and turns. I more or less worked out what
some of the secrets were but that didn’t matter as I didn’t know how the story
was going to unfold or what was, or wasn’t, going to be revealed.

In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begins – the story of
Adele and Amelia, and the heart-breaking betrayal that will divide them
forever. Decades later, the effects of one reckless act still echo – but how
long will it be until their past returns?

I ended up thoroughly enjoying The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick and I couldn’t
put it down. It really grabbed me and was one of those books that the
characters stay with you. I have really enjoyed reading all of Liz Fenwick’s
books, The Cornish House, (about artist Maddie who inherits a house in Cornwall
and the ups and downs of the new life that goes along with it) A Cornish Affair
(in which Jude, leaves her fiancé standing at the altar and runs away to a job
in a big house in Cornwall to catalogue an extensive library of research. I
adored this house and wanted Jude’s job!), A Cornish Stranger (where, Gabriella
moves into a waterside cabin to help her ailing grandmother, a once celebrated
artist and the stranger, of the title, who complicates things), Under A Cornish
Sky (another gorgeous house that entwines the lives of the characters that it
connects) and the novella, A Cornish Christmas Carol (a reimagining of a
Christmas Carol, via the hardhearted, Abigail and three visitors that reveal
life-changing things about her past, present and future lives.)

If you enjoy books by Rosamunde Pilcher or Kate Morton, you
will enjoy these. If you love Cornwall, you will enjoy these, if you love contemporary
fiction, you will enjoy these. I’m not a huge fan of romantic fiction, but if
you are, you will love these. Luckily for me, Liz’s books offer far more than
just a love interest element so will appeal to a wider audience – especially
The Returning Tide.
All that research certainly paid off.

I have had a bit of a binge read of all these books, to
catch up and I am eagerly awaiting the next one with more than a modicum of
excitement to see what Liz will produce next. All of the books are standalone
stories but as they are set in the same location there is the odd reference to
previous characters. You wouldn’t notice that, at all, if you hadn’t read the
previous books but it is a nice light touch to see what happened to some
characters, further along the line. For example in The Returning Tide, there is
mention of so-and-so and her husband and you think – Ooh they did get married
in the end then!

You can find out all about
Liz and her lovely books at her website:
She is on Facebook: Liz Fenwick Author and on Twitter: @liz_fenwick The Returning Tide is available from good
bookshops and also the usual online places such as Amazon and iTunes.

PREVIEW & BUY The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick


What Tracey Did Next... Posted on Wed, March 29, 2017 14:57:51

Okay, I didn’t get very far with this blog and I’ve just realised why – I really, really didn’t like the graphics!
They were created for a specific situation (I had a craft unit on a local market) and it wasn’t really me. I’m far, far happier with the new graphics, so here we go – AGAIN!

Expect to see plenty of reviews, features, all sorts of things that I have been up to and, probably dogs, yes, in all likelihood, dogs. I have two old ladies. Lucaya, a greyhoundX lurcher, who is now a massive 15 and a half and Mabel, a Springer/SussexX who is 12. There are times that I feel like I’m living in a care home for the-elderly-with-four-paws, especially when sorting out all their various meds and other requirements, as well as flying backwards and forwards to the vets!

Here is a painting that I did, when there were three. Maude, a whippetX lurcher who made it to 13 and a half. Maude is on the left, Mabel in the middle and Lucaya on the right. (I apologise for all the bottoms but they were busy looking out of the window. Maybe, if you waggle a smelly treat in front of the screen, they may turn around….)

Now I have the dog post out of my system more subjects will follow.
Thank you for reading.