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The Path to the Sea

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  815 ratings  ·  90 reviews
‘The Queen of the contemporary Cornish novel’ The Guardian

Sometimes going home is just the beginning…

Boskenna, the beautiful, imposing house standing on the Cornish cliffs, means something different to each of the Trewin women.

For Joan, as a glamorous young wife in the 1960s, it was a paradise where she and her husband could entertain and escape a world where no one was qu
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 6th 2019 by HQ
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  815 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Path to the Sea is another wonderful read by one of my all-time favourite authors.

I loved the characters, and was completely engrossed in the story. I couldn’t read it quick enough, eager to solve the mystery.

This is a tale of family, motherhood, mystery, secrets, lies, love and lust. And one I highly recommend to others.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of "The Path to the Sea" in exchange for an honest review.

The Path to the Sea is Liz Fenwick’s seventh novel and her longest. It’s a change of genre, although, as ever, personal relationships lie at its heart, and, as ever, the quality of the author’s writing gets better with every book.

Overlaid against the Cold War Era and with three cleverly interwoven story-lines, the tales of Joan, a diplomat’s wife, her daughter Diana, and her Granddaughter
Rachel Gilbey
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Path to the Sea is certainly a book that drew me in and kept my on my toes throughout.

The narrative is from three main characters points of view, Joan, who we see in her role of hostess of Boskenna one fateful weekend in 1962. There is Diana, her daughter, and we see life through her eyes as an 8 year old in 1962, as well as a woman in her 60s in the present day. Finally there is Lottie, Joan's granddaughter, and mostly we see her in the present day.

All three generations of women are broug
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Liz Fenwick writes beautiful novels and The Path to the Sea is no exception. The Cornish setting is stunning and the structure of the novel - which divides between three generations of one family - is very effective and involving. This family has secrets, kept from the younger generations, but now it's time for them to emerge. The intrigue is fascinating and heads off into spy novel territory at times, which I especially welcomed. There are some emotional and painful scenes here as a family gath ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to meet Liz Fenwick in Lostwithiel on my way back from my holiday in Cornwall, so I bought this book and had it signed by the truly talented and lovely lady herself.
This book is so amazing, it is written with so much passion and the story line is full of twists and turns in a way that only Liz can write.
The story starts when Joan (Mother of Diana and Grandmother of Lottie) is sadly on the verge of passing away and the family arrive to gather around her bedside. Diana arrives a
Linda Hill
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secrets of the past echo in the present as Diana and Lottie head home to Joan.

The Path to the Sea is just fabulous. I loved every word. Liz Fenwick held me entranced throughout to the extent that I thought about the characters and events when I wasn’t reading, couldn’t wait to get back to the story and yet didn’t want it to end. This is glorious storytelling at its very best.

I love the manner in which Liz Fenwick evokes a sense of place. Cornwall and Boskenna House are as much a living presence
Amanda  Gee
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written family drama that draws you in from the beginning.
Three generations of women, a beautiful house, a plot that moves effortlessly through the different time lines makes for a compulsive read.
Wonderful characterisation, well written and a fantastic setting.
Would definitely recommend this book.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I'm already a Liz Fenwick fan, I wasn't prepared to be swept along by this book in the way I was. It's a fabulous read - totally engrossing and also surprising. It's still very much a Fenwick book, with a historical thread set in 1962 running side by side with a present day story. What set this apart for me was the surprising and I think different elements to the story, and what kept me immersed was that I cared what happened in these characters' lives. I should add that the house that ...more
The path to the sea

Visit the locations in the novel

The Path to the Sea is a remarkable story and novel. It’s from the pen of Liz Fenwick so you know you’re going to get a quality story with excellent writing, but this goes beyond that and more.

Cornwall is of course at the heart of this story. It comes to glorious life from the page. The crash of the waves, the salt in the sea air, the flora and fauna – all can be seen, tasted and heard with the skill of Liz’s pen. It’s a setting she’s written about before, but thi
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This lovely book surpassed my expectations in so many ways – my goodness, it was wonderful! I really hadn’t expected a story quite like this, or the complexity of its construction. I will admit it did wrong-foot me at first – after two short attempts to read, I was finding it difficult to grasp the different timelines and found that frustrating (and not really like me at all). But I then managed to carve out an uninterrupted afternoon, an opportunity to immerse myself, and this book delivered so ...more
Not as good as Liz Fenwicks previous books. Story didnt really get going and there were threads not tied up or explained properly.
Shaz Goodwin
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The format of this story works so well. I loved the suspense and intrigue of the split timelines. Joan (1st person) leads us up to the tragedy in 1962, Lottie narrates what happened 10 years ago in 2008 and what is happening in 2018 and Diana’s narration – she has very few memories of her father Allan and her childhood impacts on her ability to parent and engage on an emotional level.

Information we’re given in one narration clicks into place in another. F
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, 2019
Wonderful book set in a beautiful old house- Boskenna, in rugged Cornwall. Liz Fenwick writes so beautifully that I can easily imagine myself in the house and countryside. It follows a grandmother, mother and daughter, all with secrets and issues to work through. I always get totally engrossed in the story and can't wait to read more. The housework has to wait.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from the Publisher

Gripping, fresh, and completely unputdownable, THE PATH TO THE SEA is my favourite novel by Liz Fenwick thus far.

Boskenna is a stunning house on the Cornish cliffs that calls back three generations of women to face their pasts and their future. Joan is dying and wants to make amends to her strong, tough daughter for secrets that have kept them at a distance for far too long but she worries that the past will make things even worse between them
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fabulous Cornish drama set in stunning surroundings over two time periods, 1962 and the present day. Essentially it's a story of three women's relationships and how they adapted and changed over time. Though one of these women's time is coming to an end, the repercussions of her past has a huge impact on the happiness of those left behind. I adored Boskenna which is based on a real house - Porthpean House, not too far away from where I live. Liz evokes the early sixties living in this magnific ...more
Donna Irwin
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written tale of three women, of their love, interaction, relationships and history. Mother, Daughter and Granddaughter all have pasts, secrets and issues to face.
The story centres around Joan, a diplomat’s wife in the Cold War era, her war correspondent daughter Diana, and her artist granddaughter Lottie and explores the decisions made to protect those they love and the consequences of those actions. Joan is dying and everyone is gathering as her life draws to a close.
Tracy Shephard
As with all of Liz Fenwicks books, the passion she feels about her writing show in her characters and flows from every word, line and chapter.

The Path to the Sea set in Cornwall, takes us on on a journey most unexpected.

The story of three  women, Joan, Diana and Lottie exposes secrets, lies and love. I loved each one of them but for me Joan was the most interesting, with her life of being a Russian spy, while also being a wife and mother, she just exudes glamour and intrigue. but..she also has t
Sarah - Sarah's Vignettes
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All reviews can be found at

Most visitors to this blog or to my social media pages will know that I am a huge fan of Liz Fenwick's work, having read and reviewed the majority of her books (The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, Under a Cornish Sky, The Returning Tide) and was absolutely bowled over last year by One Cornish Summer. I was curious to see where she was going to take her writing next. Well, Liz really has done it again with The Path to the Sea. Crikey, it i
First things first, look at that cover… I am in love with it and feel I could just walk out onto one of the beaches. Now to try and convey how much I loved this book…

The story is one that tells of 3 generations of women at Boskenna House.

Within the first few chapters, I was struck by the wonderful skill this author has. Her descriptions for the Cornish scenery, the house, the gardens is sublime. It was so easy to visualise everything from the perfect choice of words she used. These descriptions
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-set-in-uk
Novel set in CORNWALL, overlooking Porthpean

Three generations of women in the Trewin family have gathered together at the crumbling and ramshackle pile that is Boskenna, overlooking Porthpean and not far from St Austell, with views across to the tower on Gribben Head (built 1832 to distinguish Gribben Head from Dodman Point). It is set in mature gardens full of flowering blooms, it has stables and outhouses and the sea is only a short distance away…

Grandmother Joan is dying of cancer and she is
Jane Hunt
Set in the rugged beauty of Cornwall, a family drama, that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, unfolds through the eyes of a dying grandmother, a driven daughter and a dutiful granddaughter. Each woman loves the house on the Cornish cliff, even though it is the scene of tragic events that have marred their lives.

Joan has a secret, kept hidden for most of her adult life, but now she is dying, she wants forgiveness and understanding. Told from her point of view as a young, mother in 1962, her
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is exactly my kind of book and I loved it. It tells the story of three generations of women all with strained relationships brought together by the imminent death of Joan, the grandmother. In her younger days, Joan lived and worked in Russia before the death of her first husband. Her daughter, Diana, a successful journalist, has always felt very distant from her mother and can't understand why she can't remember more about her father. Lottie was brought up by her grandmother and so in turn ...more
Joanne D'Arcy
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Three women, Grandmother, Mother, Daughter and one house - Boskenna almost like the fourth women in this story of secrets and lies and the mystery that can arise from one action and subsequent reactions.

It is the 1960s, the world is still very much in the throws of the Cold War, there is much going on. To get a break from that Joan and her diplomat husband have arrived to spend time in Cornwall, at their home, Boskenna. However it seems that you are never alone.

One weekend, to celebrate her husb
Deborah Carr
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book is set in Boskenna, a beautiful, rundown cliffside in Cornwall and covers one weekend in August in 2018 and the repercussions of events that happened that same weekend in 1962. Three generations of women come together when the oldest, Joan is dying. She lives at Boskenna with her second husband George and her estranged daughter Diana, a troubled, successful journalist who wants answers from her mother about her past. Then there's Diana's daughter, Lottie, who is dealing with her own pri ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read all of Liz’s books, loved them, and recommend them!

Being from the west country, I enjoy Liz’s books set in Cornwall and you can feel yourself transported there.

This story is about three women; grandmother Joan, mother Diana, and daughter Lottie. They return to Boskenna, the home on the cliffs, when Joan is dying. Secrets from the past come to the future and mysteries are solved.

I sometimes struggle with novels that have chapters swapping between years and characters, but Liz has made
Helen White
A story told from three perspectives. Centred around a Cornish house Diana returns home as her mother Joan is dying desperate to find out why she can't remember her childhood or her father's death. Her daughter Lottie adores her grandmother and has a fractured relationship with Diana. Joan herself is looking for forgive was for a lifetime of secrets. With flashbacks to Joan in the 1960s we learn those secrets as Lottie and Diana discover what really happened.

This is a good story and the relatio
Sandra McKenna
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, wow, wow!

OMG, this book is just amazing. I have read all of Liz Fenwick's books, and every time they blow me away; but, this one was totally unputdownable (if there's such a word).
This story is of three generations of women, each with their own story to tell, and set in three different timelines. It is full of closely guarded secrets and lies of the past and present.
I have put this book down as my best read for a very long time.
So well written, and of course, set in Cornwall, my favourite
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was the first book I read by Liz Fenwick and it won't surely be the last.
It is well written, engrossing and makes you root for the characters.
I liked the style of writing, the cast of characters and the lovely setting.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Anne Mackle
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Joan, who is Diana's mother and Lottie's grandmother is dying. Although Lottie's is very close to her grandmother,Diana is not. She has always felt her mother didn't love her. Diana's father died in 1962 and she has never accepted her mother's second husband.
As mother and daughter take turns sitting at Joan's bedside they both have questions about the past. Why is Diana's memory of her father so vague? Bit by bit looking through Joan's belongings they find the truth of what happened all those ye
Louise Beech
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful, surprising novel. This utterly swept me away for a few days. It wasn't at all what I expected, in the best way. That's all I will say, not to ruin it for the many others who I know will love this too. Highly recommended by me.
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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.


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