On her way to a brief holiday in Cornwall, Lucy Cardwell finds herself making a quick break from her new boyfriend. Lucy’s participation in this holiday is halted as they are passing through an area which contains her father’s childhood home,Carlyon Manor. The draw to visit Carlyon Manor is so strong that Lucy abruptly decides to stay in the nearby village rather than going on with her scheduled holiday plans. The recent loss of her troubled father, Tom, has her questioning some of his papers she found. He had been researching an uncle she never knew he’d had. While there, Lucy meets an old woman named Beatrice who tells her a story so intriguing she cannot stop listening. Beatrice tells of her childhood in the 1930s with the children of Carlyon Manor. Angelina Wincanton, Lucy’s grandmother, was one of those children. During Beatrice’s fifteenth year, she rescues Rafe Ashton from the sea. The weeks and months pass with Beatrice, Rafe, and the Wincanton children growing up togther. Then the war rages and all are affected, yet in different ways. Beatrice’s story covers years of strife, courage and betrayal. During WWII their lives and friendships are strained. While some give their all for freedom and loved ones, others remain selfish and unyielding. Lucy finds the answers to what her father had been searching for, and also something of herself, while she listens to this story full of secrets and a past mingled with terror.
Rachel Hore’s writing style is excellent. She weaves her stories in such a way that keeps you wanting to read on. My only beef with this is the sexual scenes and their descriptions. It just isn’t necessary. Merely the impression of what is about to happen is enough. One doesn’t need to be told, play-by-play, what they are doing. Sorry, Rachel, it just does not have to be a part of a good read. We all know it happens, we don’t need to be told ‘how.’ Aside from this issue, A Gathering Storm is worth your time.