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One Cornish Summer

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Against the beauty of Cornwall, a story of two women struggling with their past: one cannot remember hers, the other cannot forget...
When Hebe receives a life-changing diagnosis at only 53, she struggles to make sense of what it will mean for her, her job and the man she loves. With memories slipping away by the day, she flees to the one place she has always felt safe and
Kindle Edition
Published March 8th 2018 by Orion Publishing
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4.22  · 
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 ·  246 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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I read some rave reviews of this book which prompted me to read this, my first by Liz Fenwick. This turned out to be a wonderfully moving read, set amidst the atmospheric beauty and striking landscape of Cornwall. It focuses on memories, history, family, cross generational and personal relationships, the impact of the past on the present, and the dilapidated Helwyn House, known to locals as Hell House. 53 year old academic and historian, Hebe receives a devastating medical diagnosis of Alzheimer ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a huge Liz Fenwick fan since first discovering her debut, The Cornish House five years ago, I eagerly await the publication of each new book she writes. I’m really pleased to say that I loved her new book, One Cornish Summer, which has all the things I’ve grown to love about Liz Fenwick’s stories.

This book captures the magical atmospheric essence of Cornwall that only those who have visited Cornwall can truly understand. Helwyn House, locally known as Hell House in the book, comes to life as
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply outstanding. A haunting study of cross-generational relationships.

Liz Fenwick has an unerring eye for atmosphere; the shades of her adopted Cornwall pervade this book. It is a truly wonderful and emotional read.

It is facile to describe a book as a "page-turner", but this really is a book I found hard to put down. The story and characters gripped me from the first page.

With two women, Lucy and Hebe, the secrets they have to keep and the decisions they must make, you have a story that wil
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Liz Fenwick book and I very much enjoyed it. I bought this book last summer when we were in St Ives in Cornwall, one of my favourite places to visit. I wanted to read it at a later date to recapture my feelings for Cornwall.
The cover of this book is deceiving. I thought it was going to be a lighter read than it was. The author really covers the gamut of issues- the #1 being secrets over the generations. We are given a glimpse of a dynamic woman who is felled by early onset Alzh
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ONE CORNISH SUMMER by Liz Fenwick is a beautifully atmospheric and emotional story of family, love, and recognising the important things in life.

Hebe can no longer ignore her failing health but as she struggles with what is to become of her and those she loves, a chance image in a newspaper spurs her to return to Cornwall, the one place which has always felt like home to her. Lucy, her niece, is also going through changes in her life and when she needs to disappear for a little while. following
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, net-galley
Liz Fenwick creates such wonderful imagery in her books that you are instantly transported to the sights and sounds of the wonderful Cornish setting. Helwyn House becomes another character and I am now desperate to visit Godolphin this summer. You can feel the floorboards creaking and the air of mystery as it tries to conceal its secrets.
Lucy has to go back to Cornwall when they discover that Hebe, her aunt, is about to bid on Helwyn House when it comes up for auction, despite its rundown condit
Vanessa Wild
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It’s set in Cornwall and is about two women, both of whom have secrets. Hebe is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s, whilst her niece Lucy is fleeing from an unsuitable and scandalous relationship. Hebe retreats to her favourite place to buy Helwyn House and enlists Lucy’s help restore it. For Lucy, however, the house holds painful memories.

This is a real ‘Bertie Bassett’ type of a story! It contains a bit of all sorts - mystery, history, romance and a stunning setting. It'
Vikki Patis
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love most about One Cornish Summer is the relationship between Lucy and Hebe, particularly how their similarities and differences were highlighted. Fenwick is excellent at creating female relationships, weaving in intricate details, showing both the light and the dark. I've said before that Fenwick is quietly feminist, and that observation remains true. 

Even when dealing with darker or difficult subject material, Fenwick handles it with care and respect. Her characters drive the stories;
Jenny Wheeler
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this dual timeline mystery which moves between the English Civil War and contemporary Cornwall. Hebe is a brilliant academic succumbing to early onset Alzheimer's who is fixated on Civil War history and one man in particular. Her niece Lucy is struggling with a challenging dilemma of a completely different kind. Thrown together in a historic Cornwall house they struggle to come to terms with their different pasts before it's too late. Thought provoking, and at times confronting, O ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always with Liz Fenwick books, a gentle easy read with a good storyline
A really enjoyable read , with some very likeable characters in Hebe , Lucy and Kit.
I loved the setting around my beloved Cornwall and the history interweaved beautifully into the plot.
A delicate introduction of Alzheimer’s into the storyline worked so well and was very emotive especially at the end of the story.
Liz Fenwick has again written a lovely story that I have read in one sitting . Unable to put the book down , it was so good!
Donna Irwin
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a huge fan of Liz Fenwick since I first discovered her books in St Ives when on holiday in Cornwall, so I was thrilled to receive a copy of her latest novel to read.

I started this book on a stormy wet Saturday night in Glasgow and during a discussion with a fellow reader remarked that I was in Cornwall in summer despite the rain outside! Liz has that wonderful ability to convey the spirit and essence of her adopted county and this latest book is no exception.

This is a story of relat
One Cornish Summer

Visit the locations in the novel

Liz! You’ve brought the sunshine into my reading life, despite this snow we’re having, but there was still water when the tears started to flow. Hebe has Alzheimers and it’s especially tragic since she’s young. She hopes that her favourite place, restored, will go some way to restoring her. Lucy comes to help and the house has quite an effect on her too for different reasons.

There were some upsetting scenes but very true and heartfelt. Similarly the descriptions o
Karen Whittard
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This really is a wonderful book. It has mystery, romance, friendship, secrets, beautiful Cornish countryside. Wonderful characters and a great story line. This book had everything you could possibly need in a book. I loved it.
Nicola Clough
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always loved Liz Fenwick's books and she certainly didn't disappoint me. So heartbreaking and thoughtful and about love and families. Makes you really think you are in Cornwall when reading this such loveable characters such a warm read and so enjoyable I didn't want to put it down. Based around two main characters and how life can soon change.
Hebe is only 53 and is given a life changing diagnosis and she struggles with how it will effect hey. She leaves her lover and goes to Cornwall as h
Katie Baker
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know they say don't judge a book by its cover but if you are tempted to seriously don't with this one as the cheery seaside scene on the front bears no relation to the heartbreaking, lovely, beautiful, deep, gothic love story inside. With hints of Still Alice but a completely different vibe I thought I wasn't going to like this but loved it.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review can be found at

I am a big fan of Liz Fenwick's work and I adored her last novel, The Returning Tide with it being one of my books of 2017. So I was very excited when I got the opportunity to read One Cornish Summer ahead of publication - and I absolutely loved it! Just when I think I've found my favourite Liz Fenwick novel, she goes and pulls another one out of the bag!! It is the second book this year to leave me with a book hangover - the inability to
Shaz Goodwin
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I enjoyed the format of Hebe’s and Lucy’s narrations. This gives us so much insight into their lives and their characters. Both in relationships that break the boundaries of society and feel the need to hide away, although Hebe isn’t protecting herself but protecting other.

From the beginning we know from Hebe there is something wrong. I knew I should be feeling more for her but just didn’t feel that connection until quite late in the story when my tears su
Suze Lavender
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hebe is only in her early fifties when she receives devastating news about her health. Her mind was once her best friend, but now she's constantly forgetting things, until she will even lose what's most important to her. Hebe has lived and loved, but there's one thing she wants to do before her brain will fail her completely, she wants to return to Helwyn House in Cornwall. The house that brought her so much, it's time for Hebe to make her biggest wish come true.

A scandal is making it hard for L
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spending time by the coast is always restorative and so it was a delight to discover that One Cornish Summer by Liz Fenwick revolves around the purchase and restoration of Helwyn House, based on Godolphin House, set along the Cornish coastline. With its crumbling, gothic exterior and overgrown gardens, historian and academic Hebe has dreamt of owning the property for years, whilst for her niece, Lucy, it holds sad childhood memories she finds hard to shake free.

But Helwyn House isn’t alone in h
Jane Cable
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book marketing can sometimes be a slightly disingenuous thing. The cover and the blurb promise one thing, but the story inside delivers quite another. Sometimes this can lead to disappointment, but at others the opposite is true. And this is very much the case with Liz Fenwick’s latest novel. It isn’t a light and fluffy holiday read – it’s brilliant and challenging and altogether so much more.

To me it seems a shame that the publisher wasn’t entirely as brave as the author. The blurb describes He
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Cornwall this story spans two generation. Hebe has to face a life changing diagnosis which she is determined to keep to herself but it soon becomes apparent to her family that something is wrong . Her niece Lucy is also at a turning point in her life after a disastrous affair ends and she is thrust into the paperartsy limelight. I found this book to be well written with a credible storyline .
Tracey Edges
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What does a rather spooky, crumbling pile, of a once stately house, in the back end of the Cornish nowhere have to do with a family that used to spend their summers there, a Tory MP, a scandal, an Hollywood Actor, Alzheimer’s, a love story from the 17th Century and a Metaphysical Poet?
They are all strands, that cleverly come together in the brilliant new novel by Liz Fenwick, One Cornish Summer. I can highly recommend this as both an interesting yet easy read – one that I didn’t want to put dow
Helen White
Heartbreaking novel about Hebe who follows her dream to buy a huge house in Cornwall to restore. However her early Alzheimer's has a devastating affect on all those around her. Meanwhile her niece Lucy follows her in order to escape her own scandal.

It's not exactly a happy romance novel but there is a lot of love in various forms. For me there were a lot of ultimately unimportant plot details that just never really mattered or developed. Focus on the main 2 characters and it's great.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely wonderful read - I have no words to say how moving I found this story. And I've shed many tears this afternoon.

I will confess that from around 75% I started skipping through the Hebe parts set in 2015. I thought they were unecessary and just wanted to be reading of the present time.

But that said, I would read it again in a heartbeat.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liz Fenwick writes beautifully and her storylines pull you in right from the first few pages. I’ve read and enjoyed all her books, and love the Cornish settings, probably because I was born and bred very close to the Devon/Cornwall border so the settings are familiar.

One Cornish Summer tells the story of Hebe and her niece, Lucy. One of them is struggling to remember and the other is struggling to forget. They meet up at the dilapidated property that Hebe has just bought at auction – to the horr
Sue Ross
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book written by this author, but I will chasing the others now. This story had so many dimensions to it, yet it was so skilfully woven together as as a wonderfully emotive story of Hebe and her niece Lucy. The description of the scene settings made them all come to life in my mind. I cried, smiled and laughed along with the happenings. All of this and mystery too makes this a very well deserved 5 stars from me.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok so Liz Fenwick is my favourite author and my most favourite book is "The Returning Tide. How could she better that? Well I started reading this book and it just was not doing anything for me and at one point I nearly gave up, but I am so glad that I didn't. This book is about Hebe who has loved a man half her age for years, but kept it a secret because of this. She has felt guilty for years for denying him all the things a younger woman could give him and eventually being diagnosed with Alzhe ...more
Anne Harvey
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With this novel, author Liz Fenwick has reached new depths of emotion and so beautifully characterised. The book begins with a reflective look back at a particularly idyllic summer in Cornwall and this pattern occurs right through the book. The author of these passages is Hebe, a fifty-something academic who has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers disease which makes them particularly poignant. Then we have Lucy, young woman who throws herself at life, often to the detriment of her reputa ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure about this book at first. Admittedly it is set in Cornwall which is always a bonus but you know it is not going to be an easy read when the main character suffers from early onset Alzheimers! It was difficult to empathise with Hebe at first yet I was truly sobbing by the end - such is the emotional pull of this book. Yes, it is sad, poignant, moving but it is what makes us human. Liz Fenwick has a real knack for describing relationships that hit home and both Hebe and her niece Luc ...more
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I was born in Massachusetts and after nine international moves - the final one lasting eight years in Dubai- I now live in Cornwall and London with my husband and a cat. I made my first trip to Cornwall in 1989, bought my home there seven years later. My heart is forever in Cornwall, creating new stories.