Hello everybody. I hope you’ve all been doing well. Today I have for you a non-spoilery review of Lindsay Jayne Ashford’s WWII historical novel The House at Mermaid’s Cove, which comes out today.
What is the book about?
In 1943, during World War II, a young woman named Alice washes ashore in Cornwall after surviving a shipwreck. She is rescued by Viscount Jack Trewella, who at first suspects that she is an escaped prisoner or an enemy spy. Although he quickly finds out that this is not the case, Alice’s real identity turns out to be something even more astonishing. Jack accepts to protect Alice’s secret and as they slowly learn to know each other, a unique bond begins to grow between them. Soon though, as the shadow of war looms ever closer, and as secrets and past memories begin to come to the surface, Alice begins to realize that Jack too has his share of secrets.
My review of The House at Mermaid’s Cove
Alice is a wonderful main character
Alice is a fabulous and endearing main character. When we meet her, she is trying to escape from her past and wishes to forge herself a new life away from who she used to be. And throughout the book, we get to see her grow into a strong woman who is not only confident in who she is and what she wants from life, but who also steps up when she needs to and displays tremendous courage when faced with difficult, and often very dangerous, situations.
A well-written slowburn romance
Although romance is not the predominant focus of the story, I really enjoyed the slow burn romance between Alice and Jack. It was done very well and evolved in a very natural way that suited the tone and the progression of the story.
Falling in love with Mermaid’s Cove and Cornwall
I also really enjoyed the setting of the book. The story takes place in Mermaid’s Cove, a fictional place located on the coast of Cornwall. From the quaint, rural coziness of the village to the salty breezes of the beach, the location was described so beautifully and vividly that I found myself longing for a trip to Cornwall. I also liked that the portrayal of this community striving to get through wartime was done very faithfully with respect to the historical setting.
Well-researched historical elements
Speaking of the WWII setting, and without revealing too much of the plot, one of the side-plots of the story includes the involvement of a secret Resistance group. I found those scenes super fascinating, especially the inclusion of the exchange of coded messages. Those elements of the story were clearly very well-researched, which I really appreciated.
A very satisfying ending
The last few chapters of the book were incredibly thrilling. These chapters were a rollercoaster of emotions and I found myself speeding through them, eager to see what would come next. And I’m happy to say that the book’s ending was very satisfying and tied up all the storylines very nicely.
I gave the book four out of five stars and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good historical novel with a sprinkling of slow-burn romance.