I am delighted to share my review for The Cornish Captive by Nicola Pryce. This is the 6th book in the Cornish Saga series. I have read several of them and they work well as stand-alone.
The sixth novel in a stunning series set in eighteenth-century Cornwall, perfect for fans of Bridgerton
Imprisoned on false pretences, Madeleine Pelligrew, former mistress of Pendenning Hall, has spent the last 14 years shuttled between increasingly destitute and decrepit madhouses. When a strange man appears out of the blue to release her, she can’t quite believe that her freedom comes without a price. Hiding her identity, Madeleine determines to discover the truth about what happened all those years ago.
Unsure who to trust and alone in the world, Madeleine strikes a tentative friendship with a French prisoner on parole, Captain Pierre de la Croix. But as she learns more about the reasons behind her imprisonment, and about those who schemed to hide her away for so long, she starts to wonder if Pierre is in fact the man he says he is. As Madeleine’s past collides with her present, can she find the strength to follow her heart, no matter the personal cost?
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This is the 6th book in the Cornish Saga series. The books can be read as stand-alone stories as it is only some of the characters that are cross overs. There is a list at the beginning of the book that is handy for referring to.
The story is set in 1800, a woman is thrown into confusion as she is being got ready to move. She has been moved every couple of years from madhouse to madhouse, yet this time is too early. Her confusion is soon replaced by the feeling of being overwhelmed as is told that people have been looking for her. She did not deserve to be placed into an asylum, she knows the truth but will anyone believe her. Madeline insists on bringing a young girl with her when she is released, they have formed a close bond and rely on each other for the strength of mind.
Madeline is taken to an area she knows but disguises her identity for fear of being recognised. She has lost her husband, her house and has nothing. There are, however, those who are working in the background to help Madeline and her young friend Rowan. The only thing is that who can she trust and who is actually helping her?
I have read several of the authors’ books and I always enjoy them. Not only does she give the reader a well-researched novel but it is loaded with many details. From the scenery to the way people dress, their jobs, how men and women are treated and also a delve into law with this book. I really liked the character of Madeline, and also Rowan, in fact pretty much all of the women. The author does write a great female lead, with this book there are several females that have important roles.
The historical site of the novel is also great as it does show some of the histories of Cornwall, problems with the mines and mentions of china clay as well pilchard fishing. This is also a very important time for Britain but also for France. During the French Revolution that ended in 1799, many French royalists fled France. This meant that spies and conspiracy are rife, which adds mistrust to the story especially as Madeline is French. She also is cautious around anyone who is French as she doesn’t really know the full lie of the land. So when Captain de la Croix makes an early appearance in the story and then seems to hover around, Madeline is nervous.
The author has created a heartbreaking role for Madeline, a woman who has been moved from asylum to asylum, who has survived for 14 years in squalor. Sudde3nly finding herself free is overwhelming, descriptions of shock, and conditions gradually emerge. The author has done this so well, and it really brought Madeline to life, sharing her suffering and anxieties as well as how she perceives herself.
If you are a fan of Historical fiction Sagas set in Cornwall then this author is fabulous. I have read several of her books and have really enjoyed each one. She gives the roles of her characters fitting parts depending on their backgrounds and status. There is a very mysterious thread to this story and when the author starts to weave her story, there is more to it than you initially realise. Great books for historical fiction, saga, romance and Cornish setting readers. It is one I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicola Pryce trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. She has always loved literature and completed an Open University degree in Humanities. She is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer and lives with her husband in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. Together they sail the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure.
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