Conversations

The story of returning to Cornwall – Fern Britton on ‘Coming Home’

October 24, 2017

When the only place you want to be is home…

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love Cornwall. I was taken down on families holidays as a baby, and I must have been about 2 when I understood that this amazing place was called Cornwall, and that I loved it.

We would always stay in Looe, mostly in a rented holiday apartment called The Dolphin, just behind the church, but once, we stayed in the luxury of the Boscarne Hotel. Our room was right up in the eaves and when I was put to bed to allow the grownups their own time downstairs, I would press my nose to the window and count the flashes of the Eddystone lighthouse. Two flashes. Gap. Eleven flashes.

As I got a little older I was allowed to wander the town on my own.

Pixie Halt was a shop with Cornish gifts I coveted. Plastic Pixies, Seagulls, and small wooden sailing boats for the rockpools. At the back of the shop was a waterfall and a wishing well, surrounded by pixies and fairy lights. I threw my pennies in and wished for a house in Cornwall.

Later, I’d sit on the quay with my crab line and pull out legions of them, putting them in a cardboard box that some kind boat man would give me. I’d watch, legs dangling over the harbour wall, as the little ferry boats puttered to and fro across the river East to West and back again, chatting to the ferry men and dreaming of the day I joined them with my own ferry boat. Towards evening, on the incoming tide, the shark fishing boats motored in, flying different coloured pennants to let us know what they had caught and how many.

These kaleidoscopic memories have built the characters I write about. I hope readers find them a true representation of the Cornish spirit and the landscape they live in.

In Coming Home, I write about the longing of returning for a woman who had to leave Cornwall and ran to the furthest end of the world. It is her story of returning to Cornwall and the unexpected, unearned love she finds.

I hope you enjoy her story as much as I have loved writing it.


Coming Home

Fern Britton

22nd February 2018

Hardback

Harper Fiction

9780007563005

RRP £12.99


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