A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen ~ Book Review

December 13, 2020


Author: Julie Klassen
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: December 1, 2020
Pages: 400

Laura Callaway daily walks the windswept Cornwall coast, known for many shipwrecks but few survivors. She feels like a castaway, set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers. Now living with her parson uncle and his parsimonious wife in North Cornwall, Laura is viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong somewhere again.

When ships sink, wreckers scour the shore for valuables, while Laura searches for clues to the lives lost. She has written letters to loved ones and returned keepsakes to rightful owners. She collects seashells and mementos, and when a man is washed ashore, she collects him too.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the castaway, the mystery surrounding him grows. He has abrasions and a deep cut that looks suspiciously like a knife wound, and he speaks in careful, educated English, yet his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Their attraction grows, and while she longs to return the man to his rightful home, evidence against him mounts. With danger pursuing them from every side, will Laura ever find the answers and love she seeks?


Seriously I am never disappointed when I read a Julie Klassen book. She is one of my favorites not only because the stories are incredible but she has a way of transporting you to the setting that she is writing about. There is so much detail and little things that make you feel like you are there. You can tell that she really does her research and she loves doing so. I'm so excited to be part of her launch team for this book and being able to share it with all of you! 

Like I mentioned Julie has a knack for taking you back in time and placing you in the setting. I felt like I was there in Cornwall which was great because it reminded me of one of my favorite shows Poldark. There is a part in the book where the villagers are pillaging on one of the ship wrecks and that immediately brought back a similar scene from Poldark season 1 episode 8. (yes, I am a nerd and if you watch it don't spoil it. I haven't watched season 4 yet.) So it was neat to make that connection. 

Let's chat about the main characters because they were superb! You can't help but fall in love with Laura. She seems like the timid, shy, girl at first but she definitely stands on her own two feet and is quite independent. However, she doesn't feel like she belongs in Cornwall and who can blame her as the town treats her like an outsider and so does her Aunt Mrs. Bray. Oh boy was she something else almost like the wicked step mother from Cinderella. But Laura does go through a change in the story and sees that belonging is not about people accepting you but rather being in tune to God and finding a home with Him. 

Laura's uncle however supports the things she does and backs her up as much as he can, especially when she brings a survivor from a shipwreck home. Alexander is his name and right away you know that a love story will blossom but it takes a while but it was well worth the wait.  In the mean time so much more happens and we meet some other characters that are extremely important for the story line and the developing of the story. Some you will love like Mrs. Chegwin and Jago, there are others like Tom Parsons that you will detest and some that you will wonder about!  I don't want to spoil but know that there is definitely a little mystery, suspense and romance all written perfectly and in an engaging way. If you enjoy Klassen's books or historical fiction I definitely recommend you grab this one. 

My Rating: 5 Stars/Absolutely Loved it! 

Favorite Musings/Quotes:

"One thing I've learned while being apart from you. Wherever you are, Laura Callaway, is my home." 

"Once, I feared I would never belong anywhere again. But I no longer ask myself if I am flotsam or jetsam, cast off and unwanted. I finally understand that in God's hands, and now in Alexander's arms, I am truly home."

I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to post a positive review. The views expressed are only my honest opinion.

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Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—
Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. She blogs at http://www.inspiredbylifeandfiction.com.
Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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