Genre: Historical Fiction
In April 1943 a young woman washes ashore on a deserted beach in Cornwall, England. With shorn hair and a number stitched on her tattered chemise, Alice is the survivor of a ship torpedoed by a German U-boat. She’s found by the mysterious Viscount Jack Trewella, who suspects that she’s a prisoner of war or a spy. But the secret Alice asks Jack to keep is one he could never have guessed, and it creates an intimate bond he never expected.
With her true identity hidden beneath the waves, Alice grasps the chance to reinvent herself. But as she begins to fall for Jack, she discovers he has secrets too—ones echoing the legend of a mermaid said to lure men into the dark depths of the sea.
For two strangers in the shadow of war, lost love, and haunting memories, is it time to let go of the past? Or to finally face it—whatever the risks?
My verdict: Firstly thank you to Netgalley for letting me review this book prior to its release on the 11th August. I throughly enjoyed this saga based on Cornish myth and real historical events ultimately shedding light on the vital work the Resistance did to help us win World War II. I loved the conflict that Alice battled with throughout the novel; She was saved and brought to Cornwall to help others and at times putting herself in danger. On the other hand, she is an ex nun trying to contain her passion and stubborn streak just as she is taught. She ultimately battles with herself to decide wether her love and passion is a bad thing. Jack’s character is someone who is a victim of social class prejudices which leads him to carry around this guilt which he tries to rectify throughout the narrative. I hope that this book may be turned into a series as it would be nice to see character progression from the supporting characters and how they deal with their own inner conflict and the fall out of World War II. I loved how the emotions throughout the novel builds much like a wave and even though it seems calm, their are still some ripples on the surface which is perfectly natural in life. Ashford writes with such empathy that you can’t help feeling sorry for the adversaries. A well researched and moving narrative about learning to take risks despite of what others may think. Overall a very serious novel filled with contradictions and conflicts, I rooted for the characters throughout and care for them deeply and I think that the moments of romance and levity balance out the novel giving you a warm feeling and wanting more. A job well done!