Lead Review

  • Book: Somewhere Beyond the Sea
  • Location: St Ives
  • Author: Miranda Dickinson

Review Author: tripfiction



“St Ives just makes you want to write…..”

It is so clear that the author adores Cornwall and I am sure this is a novel that will prompt you to visit this beautiful part of the world! Indeed as the author says at the end: “All of the places in Somewhere Beyond the Sea can be visited..“. She also shares her top spots to visit in and around St Ives, her favourite local artists (artist Charlie Bowater for one gets a mention in the book as do several others), shops, eateries and more…her favourite ice cream shop is Moomaid of Zenor Ice Cream Parlour (and there are plenty more recommendations to whet your appetite).

So, all in all a perfect book for literary wanderlust!

Seren MacArthur has recently lost her father and she has taken over his shop selling artwork, really to help her mum maintain an income. But it is not doing well at all and she finds herself working all hours to try and turn things around. She herself is a jewellery designer.

Jack Dixon is on his downers, living in a summer chalet with his daughter Nessie. He lost his wife and her mother just a little while ago and he is desperately trying to keep everything afloat.

Bill Brotherson is a developer, without many scruples it would appear, who has his eye on the Parsonage, which was the former home of Elinor Carne, a woman in the 19th century who contributed hugely to the world of astronomy. The locals, headed by Seren (whose father was an amateur astronomer and who first took up her cause), are opposed to his scheme. They want to maintain the Parsonage in her memory. Jack, who is desperate for work, soon finds himself on the Brotherson payroll, championing the proposed scheme with, however, a few amendments of his own. Seren and Jack are pitted against one another and neither can deny a frisson of attraction.

The central premise of the novel is delightful. Seren has been busy working on jewellery designs incorporating glass fragments washed to smooth shapes over time. One day on Gwithian Beach she finds a half finished star embedded in the sand, made up of sea glass (also traditionally called mermaids’ tears) and she completes it. From that point forward a magical scenario builds because someone else also performs artistry with the gems for her to find. The next day she works on another piece and so it goes on, it is an exciting and magical connection with someone, but who might that someone be? The to-ing and fro-ing between the two parties is a very imaginative and delightful premise and will charm the reader!

This is a great read for those who love good romance fiction and for those who love Cornwall. I am sure Visit Cornwall will benefit from people reading this book!

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021