02 August 2013

Christmas in Cornwall by Marcia Willett, Book review

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 30, 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-1250003706


 "We’re all pilgrims,’ he said thoughtfully. "One way or another, aren’t we? Always searching for something."

Twelfth night - time to put away the Christmas angel.  A new year dawns, and everything seems to be falling into place for Dossie. Her son Clem and his adorable five-year-old son Jakey have moved to Cornwall to be closer to her. She runs her own successful catering business. All she needs now is some better  luck in her romantic life.

Complementing Dossie’s rather unconventional family set-up is the wonderfully eccentric Janna: a warm-hearted, generous woman who looks after the quirky nuns of the local convent  –  and little Jakey. With humour, kindness and the support of friendship, they form a tight bond.

But the Sisters’ life as they know it is thrown into doubt when an avaricious property developer starts prowling around their beautiful, historic home. Will this close-knit unit who so depend on each other still be together next Christmas? And what will they have learnt about the true meaning of family, and about having somewhere you really belong? Find out in Marcia Willett's touching and timeless holiday tale, Christmas in Cornwall.

Here are my thoughts:

'Christmas in Cornwall' (known also abroad as The Christmas Angel) is a delightful story about love, both Eros and pathos, and the bonds of friendship shared by a most singular group of people in a little Cornish place called Chi-Meur. 
For me, it was the perfect novel to anticipate that most precious season, Christmas! If it sounds early, let it be known, it is the anticipation of this blessed event which I enjoy best!

Marcia Willett lends her considerable writing skills (she has written to date 23 novels I believe) and abiding faith to this whimsical tale of a recently widower and his young son in search of a purpose, a group of aging nuns facing the challenges so many orders meets today and the lone soul who wanders in their midst. 

Pilgrims, each and everyone, in search of something...

Having abandoned his plans for ordination, Clem has moved to Cornwall with five year old Jakey, to be near his mother Dossie. A self employed caterer, Dossie lives with Pa and Mo, her aging parents who have reluctantly stopped their Bed and Breakfast since Pa's health declined. They very much miss their friends these days, some who came year after year. Together with their faithful canine friends John the Baptist and Wolfie, this close knit family faces somewhat apprehensively the future.

Then a job advertisement in the Church Times comes to Clem's attention: 'Strong person required to work six acres of grounds plus some house maintenance. Small salary but a three bedroom lodge house comes free with the post."
Thus begins this heartwarming story!

Christmas in Cornwall is an uplifting read with the sort of congenial details about the timeless English countryside we have all learned to appreciate.
Marcia Willett's notable holiday tale illustrates beautifully the caring bonds emerging betwixt each protagonist as they learn to trust all will be resolved in its own good time.

A classic reminder of the true meaning of Christmas, not to be missed!

5 Stars!

About the Author:

(Photo source HERE)

"Marcia began her career as a novelist when she was fifty years old. Until then she had been an avid reader and had never considered writing. When her writer husband, Rodney, suggested that she should—she laughed and dismissed the whole thing out of hand.  However, after months of nagging she agreed, for the sake of peace and quiet, to see what she could do.

Eventually, she handed Rodney the manuscript of her first novel and said, ‘Right, I’ve written it—now you sell it’. So he did."

And the rest as they say is history...Find out more about this prolific author on her husband's website (HERE

Note to Readers: I was not particularly looking for a Christmas book when I spotted Marcia's novel on the library shelves but the large print version looked so appealing (see below) I could not resist!

 As you will remember, unless stated otherwise book reviews are never requested and reflects ONLY my opinion!


  1. I like hearing about the life of this remarkable author and it sounds like a good book to read before Christmas. Good review my friend!

  2. Thank you kindly, Mam!
    I already placed my name on a list of additional titles. I am so glad I stumbled on her writing!

  3. So pleased to meet you, Noelle!
    I plan to place this book on my reading list! (I always start dreaming of Christmas during the month of July.)
    Thank you for popping in to visit 34th street and for choosing to follow! Your blog design is beautiful and holds a lovely sentiment.

    1. Nice to meet you as well and for the record, it is your blog title that caught my attention since I am much a dreamer myself (and Miracle on 34th Street just happens to be a favourite of mine).
      All the best,

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog and I am so glad to come over to visit you. This book looks just perfect for my Mum for Christmas as she adores Cornwall and this would be wonderful for her to immerse herself after the Christmas rush. Thank you!

    1. I am so glad Chel! I believe all of Marcia's novels are in fact set against the Cornish landscape and I will review more of her books shortly!
      Thanks for stopping by,


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