Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: Choc Lit (7 Jun 2012)
Life in Devon in 1909 is hard and unforgiving, especially for young Emma Le Goff, whose mother and brother die in curious circumstances, leaving her totally alone in the world. While she grieves, her callous landlord Reuben Jago claims her home and belongings. His son Seth is deeply attracted to Emma and sympathises with her desperate need to find out what really happened, but all his attempts to help only incur his father’s wrath. When mysterious fisherman Matthew Caunter comes to Emma’s rescue, Seth is jealous at what he sees and seeks solace in another woman. However, he finds that forgetting Emma is not as easy as he hoped. Matthew is kind and charismatic, but handsome Seth is never far from Emma’s mind. Whatever twists and turns her life takes, it seems there is always something – or someone – missing.
We first meet Emma Le Goff as she is recovering from an illness. She’s staying with a neighbour, Mrs Phipps, who appropriates the money left by Dr Shaw to buy her food … so Emma is weak. Not only physically weak from the illness but also from not being nourished!
From the moment Emma steps out to go back to her home, Shingle Cottage, trauma seems to follow her every footstep yet despite that, she is a lead heroine who does not let circumstances affect her spirit and always fights for her own corner.
We meet Seth Jago early in the story … naked to the waist painting the window frames … and the innocence of how they feel about each other. Seemingly destined to be apart from the circumstances in both their lives, there are some poignant moments they share. Matthew Caunter, the fisherman (who may be more than he appears on the surface) also appears early in Emma’s journey. The juxtaposition of Seth and his youth/innocence and Matthew with his maturity/confidence only adds to the story (in my opinion). The third male lead, Rupert Smythe, is a character I could understand even if I didn’t like him very much for his arrogance and expectations!
Written in the third person, the reader is able to get under the skin of the main characters. The story flows and I experienced sadness/grief, frustration at misunderstandings, justice for wrongs done and hope/satisfaction! The figurative language is exactly right for the period it is written, making comparisons to the way of life. I enjoyed dipping into the fashions and the social history and social hierarchy of this time period.
To Turn Full Circle is more than an historical romance. Family is a strong theme as well as a small fishing community. For me, it is also about a strong-spirited young woman, alone, making her way in a world ruled by men.
We end the story at a beginning. The first in a trilogy, I can’t wait to see where life will take Emma Le Goff next!
I interviewed lead heroine, Emma Le Goff, as part of Choc Lit’s blog tour. If you missed my interview, you can read it again here.
I would like to thank the publishers, Choc Lit for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Linda Mitchelmore has had over 200 short stories published worldwide. She has also won, or been short-listed for, many short story writing competitions – Woman’s Own, Woman & Home and Writespace to name but three. In 2004, Linda was awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and has a story in their 50th Anniversary Anthology, ‘Loves Me, Loves Me Not.’
Linda has also won Short Story Radio Romance Prize 2010. Having started her writing career doing a short story course with Writing Magazine she has now come full circle and is a preliminary judge for their short story competitions.
Linda is married and lives in Devon.