Monday 10 August 2015

Reviewed: What Happens in Cornwall by T.A. Williams

What Happens in Cornwall was published by Carina on July 20, 2015.

Thanks to Karan at Bliss Book Promotions for sending me a copy of this book to review.

What Happens in Cornwall is the third book I have read by this author and Trevor always leaves me looking forward to his next release as soon as I finish the last page of his current book. His books are typically light-hearted, glorious escapism and his latest offering was no different. When we meet Sam, it’s obvious that her relationship with her boyfriend is going nowhere. Neil and Sam have reached the point of no return, where they are no longer too bothered about being in each other’s company. In fact, deep down, Sam is only really still with him to keep her mother happy because she doesn’t need something else to make her miserable. I was so pleased when the Neil thing was out of the way. Thank you, Trevor, for not making this drag on and on like so many authors would do. Sam instead chooses to focus on her studies in archaeology – which I loved, because what a cool thing to study. A discovery at Rock Island sees Sam off to Cornwall for the summer, and that’s where the story really gets going.

I loved the description of Rock Island – the setting was really built up beautifully and every nook and cranny was explored and delivered with intrigue. Trevor seemed to pay great attention to detail within Cornwall – with the location and scenery all realistic and brought to life. It felt like the ideal place for a holiday, if only the weather wasn’t so changeable and the rain wasn’t so persistent. There’s mystery to Rock Island, from who the famous owner of the island is to the bones and what the archaeology students were going to find. As the book went on, they were getting more and more excited by what they could discover in Rock Island and their enthusiasm was infectious – helping me become more engrossed in the story.

The characters in this book felt well thought out and their own stories were developed strongly. Sam is very honest, down-to-earth and from the start, very easy to like. To me she felt like your average young woman and very easy to relate to and identify with. She puts herself into some awkward situations without being made out to be ditzy and at the same time she’s not made out to be perfect. I always love a main character who feels so human and believable, flawed but easy to root for. My favourite thing about this book was the friendship that develops between Sam and the celebrity who owns Rock Island. Sam was so trustworthy and I thought the perfect person to keep the secret of the celebrity’s identity. The celebrity herself was actually not at all what I had imagined – much nicer than I had expected, not to mention a lot less high-maintenance than the stereotype. All throughout this book I was expecting a hitch in their friendship, so I was interested to see where it would get taken and if I’d be proven right. Sam’s time in Cornwall is also troubled by two men in James and Miles. James is a history professor who has caught Sam’s eye but he seems impossibly rude and difficult to get along with – even through the simplest of questions which he always tries to avoid. Miles is also a professor but where James felt harmless, Miles felt mightily creepy to me although I wasn’t sure why. The stories behind these characters added new dimensions to the book and I was fascinated by them all.

Being honest, What Happens in Cornwall was my least favourite of the three T.A. Williams books I have read. It started off slowly, which was a little off-putting. But the main reason I just didn’t love it as much as When Alice Met Danny and What Happens in Tuscany is because of the other perspective we hear from in the narrative, the Italian paparazzi. Occasionally I found them funny with their ridiculous stereotypes and their attitude. I’m pretty sure the situations they ended up in were meant to bring the humour to this story but for me, I really didn’t like their part in the story. I found them annoying and over-done and by the end I was even more confused by how I was meant to react to their characters. It felt like the story was leading up to something quite impressive which they would play a part in – after all, there was far more depth and focus on the archaeology and the paparazzi rather than the romance - but by the end it all seemed to fizzle out a little bit and left me feeling like I’d missed something. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the story. I always enjoy Trevor’s novels and this one was fun-filled and written with a lot of depth and what appeared to be a lot of research. The characters were, for the most part, strong and interesting but there was just quite a few things I wanted tying up and I thought the ending could have done with being extended so we could see what the story had being leading up to. Despite this, Trevor has delivered a lovely holiday escape to Cornwall with the setting so evocatively described and along with the fascinating, mysterious side to the plot, What Happens in Cornwall is a book well worth diving into this summer.

A fun book with well defined characters and an intriguing story, set in the delightfully described Rock Island


  1. Love the idea of this book. Another honest review x

    1. Thank you Tanya, I think you'd enjoy it x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...