Monday, August 29, 2011
Review: A Cottage by the Sea by Ciji Ware
A Cottage by the Sea by Ciji Ware is an edge of your seat romance with a big mystery and a little bit of magic too. Blythe, a big production designer in Hollywood, has just gone through nasty divorce with her husband, a super famous movie director. Feeling the need to get away from the press and the people she thought were her friends, Blythe decides to travel to Cornwall for an indefinitely long vacation. She finds the perfect location-a little artist's cottage on a large manor estate. It's near the area where her grandmother always said their family was from. Once settled in, Blythe meets the charming Lucas Teague, manor owner. A friendship develops, but so does Blythe's curiousity. She begins to have visions of the manor's past inhabitants. Are these are ancestors trying to tell her the family's secret? As Blythe struggles to find some answers, she also struggles with her growing feelings for Luke and the project they have started together.
To be honest, I thought this book was going to be one of those super lame romances. But it's not lame, and it's so much more than just a love story. Blythe is trying to heal after being hurt by her ex-husband and her family. Luke is also attempting to heal from his past and build a better relationship with his son. The story was captivating and I loved it.
The setting couldn't have been more perfect, too. Ciji Ware paints a gorgeous countryside in Cornwall and makes you wish that you could escape from your hectic life with Blythe. The characters who resided in Cornwall seemed to really capture life there.
And oh the characters. I loved Blythe because she is a famous woman who should be totally confident in herself, but she struggles with her self-image just like the rest of us. The "smaller" characters, like the housekeeper and the gardener, reminded me of my grandparents, so it made sense when Blythe wanted to spend time with them. And then there's Luke. Beautiful, talkative, charming, yet flawed Luke. So it's no secret that on occasion I fall madly in love with a character in a book (it happened last year when I read Cornelia Funke's Reckless). And I feel head over heels for Lucas Teague. He is a funny guy who loves to joke around and make light of things. But he also has a tender heart and deep emotional wounds that sometimes show through. And he has a temper too, but not a bad one. *sigh* Just read the book. I'm ready to read it all over again just to read about Luke again!
So don't be ashamed of your literary crushes, and read this book. And enjoy it. And let me know what you think of Luke. I'm willing to share him ;)
Title: A Cottage by the Sea
Author: Ciji Ware
Date of Publication: 1997 (my copy is from 2010)
Number of Pages: 522
Source: Personal Copy (gift from little sister for Christmas 2010!)