Thursday, October 15, 2015

Summer reading in Cornwall

Well, this Summer has been busy enjoying our new life in Cornwall, hence the lack of posts. We still have no plans to open the bookshop, but we still have a passion for books. And, we have been reading, and re-reading old favourites. More recently, I have been reading books for older children, particularly those set in Cornwall. We had bought a few like this for Pilchard Books, so now I am gradually easing through our stock.

The first one I read was "Callum Fox and the Mousehole Ghost", a story about a boy (Callum), who is sent to Cornwall to spend the Summer with his grandparents. There he makes friends with a child-ghost (Jim), who turns out to have been a childhood friend of his grumpy grandfather. As the story progresses, it turns out that this ghost isn't the only one that Callum can see. He sees a whole range of ghosts, all of whom need his help to move on, away from their ghost status. Jim also needs Callum's help, because until his grandfather is happy and knows the truth about something that happened to them both, during the Second World War, he can't move on from being a ghost. This is such an interesting story. The descriptions of Mousehole, and it's history, the stories of evacuees during the war, and the detailed descriptions of tin mines, in particular Geevor Tin Mine. It is thoroughly
entertaining, and well-written.

The second book I read was called "Girl in the Attic", and again, it was set in Cornwall, this time in St Ives. It tells the story of Nathan, a thirteen-year old boy who is forced to move to Cornwall, leaving all his friends in London, when his parents decide to separate. Initially, he is just supposed to go for Christmas, but then he is told that he will move there permanently with his mother. He is really angry, but then sees a girl in the attic of a lovely house, which is up for sale. He becomes friends with the girl, who also has a sad life, and together they solve the family secrets that haunt her life. There are lovely descriptions of St Ives, in particular, Tregenna Castle. It is a good story, looking at how life can be difficult for young adults, dealing with issues beyond their control.

Finally, I read "Twilight Ghost", a lovely ghost story, focusing on a young girl, who is unhappy because her family has had to move in with her grandmother, while her father works in Hong Kong to raise money for their own house. They have an Irish governess who tells them stories about twilight ghosts, who mean no harm, but exist because they are unable to move on until issues are resolved. Carrie was named Edwina Caroline, by her grandfather, who she never knew, but whose house it was
originally. She feels sad in the house, and feels there is something/someone in the attic. One day she goes up there, and discovers an old nursery, filled with old toys, and a diary, and there she learns what happened in he past, and understands why she has a twilight ghost. I like this story because it has wonderful descriptions of life in the early 1900s, particularly for children, both rich and poor. It was lovely the way the story unfolded, and I really enjoyed reading it.

I have just ordered two new books from Hive, a great online bookshop, where they give some of the commission to local book shops of your choice.