On a stormy night Physician’s daughter Laura Callaway is alerted that there’s a shipwreck on the local shore with only one survivor. Alexander Lucas hides his secrets well, but danger seems to follow him to Cornwall.

A Castaway in Cornwall is written by Julie Klassen, published by Bethany House Publishers. The story is set in North Cornwall 1813 and we follow Laura Callaway as she works on her admirable project to salvage trinkets from wrecks and inform next of kin of their loved ones lost at sea. When another ship wrecks, a man is washed ashore and ends up in Laura’s care to be nursed back to life. He presents himself as Alexander Lucas, has a foreign accent and reveals very little about who he is and where he is from.
While this is the second book I have read recently with similar setting, this plot stands out in the way it describes people’s struggles to survive in rather modest circumstances. With a backdrop of the Napoleonic War, the story deals with the need to belong to a family and a community. As an orphan, Laura struggles with both.

Main character physician’s daughter Laura Callaway lost her parents and lives with non-blood relatives. For a woman who struggles so much, I quite admire how she is able to make such a difference in other people’s lives and that’s why she is my favorite of this story.

Supporting character naval sea Captain Alexander Lucas struggles with consequences of war, and goes through a process of learning how to trust again. I felt he seemed human and likable as we got to follow his thoughts and perspectives. Danger seemed to follow him ashore in Cornwall.

I loved the vivid descriptions of daily life and occasional celebrations at the Cornish coast. I could easily see how story could easily be adapted to a movie reminiscent of Poldark. I found the characters relatable and many of them sympathetic. A few really unlikable ones wired me up and added great drama. The mystery element was my favorite part, which related to Alexander Lucas previous life and family background gradually told via his perspective of the story.

The romance part of the story seemed to be on the backburner until the last part of the plot. As danger was at the forefront, that made perfect sense to me. I enjoyed the dramatic parts of the story and the slightly surprising elements at the end. I felt it was all expertly tied up into a satisfying conclusion to this standalone novel.

Anyone who enjoys a historical romance set in Cornwall will love this story. As will fans of Julie Klassen. Similar authors to explore while eagerly awaiting next release from Julie Klassen
might be Kristi Ann Hunter or Jody Hedlund Thank you to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for this eARC which gave me the opportunity to share my honest review. All opinions are completely my own.

Conclusion: A Castaway in Cornwall is the entertaining and enjoyable story about a woman who struggles to belong and a man marked by war who both long for a place to call home.
Rating: 4 stars / 5
Main reasons: great plot and mystery element, relatable characters, signature writing.

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