“She was not happy, but, to all intents and purposes, she had everything. A lovely house, a handsome husband, and the children. The children were worth everything…”
Virginia Keile is recuperating from the death of her husband. Left to cope with a young son and daughter, she is given the gift of a vacation away in Cornwall, with her children cared for by their nanny at her in-laws home in Scotland. (What woman would not want a carefree vacation in Cornwall?) But Virginia is unhappily coming to terms with unpleasant memories. Her recent bereavement is especially difficult without her children around her and so she makes the brave decision to strike out and get them back.
In some ways a coming-of-age novel (yes Virginia, you can do this…) with a rekindled romance waiting in the wings, I enjoyed this novel’s slow pace and homecoming feel.
“Now, only one light burned from a downstairs window, but a full moon, white as a plate, sailed high in the sky, filling all the night with silver light. As they came over the wall into the farmyard, a door in the house opened, yellow light spilled out over the cobbles, and a voice called out across the darkness.
“Tom! Alice! Come and have a cup of tea or coffee — something to warm you up before you go home.”
“The Empty House” is pure escapism. A fast, easy read, gentle and soothing (Rosamunde Pilcher’s specialty). With a slate of likable characters, an appealing countryside setting (what is there not to love about Cornwall?), and the predictable outcome that doesn’t disappoint, this short novel hits the spot for those readers seeking the occasional atmospheric, relaxing read.