Based on the Roseland, and written by an author with local connections, this is the story of Richard Tremayne and his family, their lives and those of the staff in their newly built home in Cornwall – locals will recognise where. When Tremayne’s wife dies, the shadow of the title falls on him and his household. Covering a ten year period from 1747, the major part of the book is the story of Richard’s two year visit to Canada and the lives of those he leaves behind.
For me, Carol Symons’ greatest skills are her descriptions of the land and seascapes. She also writes dialogue rather better and more fluently than many established authors. This is intended to be the first in a series of books on the family and the house, moving forward in time, so I was pleased this volume came to its conclusion without leaving me irritated at loose ends.
Verdict: Particularly suited to lovers of period fiction and family sagas, local readers and regular visitors to the area will enjoy spotting places and names. ****