Below you will find modern novels, travelogues, romantic fiction, historical novels and holiday reads all set in Cornwall. Just browse and see what you would like, then click on the book to place an order.
Many of the books below are also available using Audible Audiobooks.
The Cornish Café Series, by Phillipa Ashley
“Warm and funny and feel-good. The best sort of holiday read.” Katie Fforde
“Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!” Jill Mansell
The Cornish House: Demi doesn’t expect her summer in Cornwall to hold anything out of the ordinary. As a waitress, working all hours to make ends meet, washing dishes and serving ice creams seems to be as exciting as the holiday season is about to get.
That’s until she meets Cal Penwith. An outsider, like herself, Cal is persuaded to let Demi help him renovate his holiday resort, Kilhallon Park. Set above an idyllic Cornish cove, the once popular destination for tourists has now gone to rack and ruin. During the course of the Cornish summer, Demi makes new friends – and foes – as she helps the dashing and often infuriating Cal in his quest. Working side by side, the pair grow close, but Cal has complications in his past which make Demi wonder if he could ever truly be interested in her.
The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn
Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.
Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.
The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER, WINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LITERATURE CHRISTOPHER BLAND PRIZE & SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD & WAINWRIGHT GOLDEN BEER BOOK PRIZE 2018
The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher, and other novels
The Shell Seekers: Artist’s daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life: a Bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, an unhappy wartime marriage, and the one man she truly loved. She has brought up three children – and learned to accept them as they are.
Yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old-age. And when she discovers that her most treasured possession, her father’s painting, The Shell Seekers, is now worth a small fortune, it is Penelope who must make the decisions that will determine whether her family can continue to survive as a family, or be split apart.
Travels With Boogie: 500 Mile Walkies, by Mark Wallington
Travels with Boogie is the story of two city slickers – one an unattractive but streetwise mongrel from Stockwell, the other the long-suffering author – and how they came to terms with England’s countryside and waterways.
First they had to survive against all odds as they embarked on a heroic journey up hill and down dale, with rucksacks full of Kennomeat, along Britain’s longest coastal footpath – from Somerset to Devon, from Cornwall to Dorset. And they did it. Then, undaunted, they took on the treacherous waters of the Thames. Not exactly as Mark had planned, however: this time his companion was to be the delectable Jennifer – but she was held up at the office, and when Boogie was dropped off at the kennels the other dogs complained.
Travels with Boogie is a witty and fascinating account of a mismatched couple and of the people they meet and places they visit.
Eloise: What secrets did she take to her grave?, by Judy Finnigan
THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER FROM THE QUEEN OF BOOK CLUB FICTION
After her best friend Eloise dies from breast cancer, Cathy is devastated. But then Cathy begins to have disturbing dreams that imply Eloise’s death was not all it seems.
With a history of depression, Cathy is only just recovering from a nervous breakdown and her husband Chris, a psychiatrist, is acutely aware of his wife’s mental frailty. When Cathy tells Chris of her suspicions about Eloise’s death, as well as her ability to sense Eloise’s spirit, Chris thinks she is losing her grip on reality once again.
Stung by her husband’s scepticism, Cathy decides to explore Eloise’s mysterious past, putting herself in danger as she finds herself drawn ever deeper into her friend’s great – and tragic – secret.
The Cornish House, by Liz Fenwick, and other novels
The Cornish House: Escape to the beautiful Cornish coast with this heart-tugging, romantic story – perfect for fans of Fern Britton and Rosamunde Pilcher
When artist Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall shortly after the death of her husband, she hopes it will be the fresh start she and her step-daughter desperately need. Trevenen is beautiful but neglected, and as Maddie discovers the stories of generations of women who’ve lived there before, she begins to feel her life is somehow intertwined within its walls.
But Maddie’s dream of a calm life in the countryside is far from the reality she faces – and as she pulls at the seams of Trevenen’s past, the house reveals secrets that have lain hidden for generations.
The Death of Mrs Westaway, by Ruth Ware
‘The Death of Mrs Westaway is Ruth Ware’s best: a dark and dramatic thriller, part murder mystery, part family drama, altogether riveting’ AJ FINN, bestselling author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.
There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.
Zennor in Darkness, by Helen Dunmore
In her prize-winning first novel, Zennor in Darkness, Helen Dunmore reimagines the plight of D.H. Lawrence and his German wife hiding out in Cornwall during the First World War.
Spring, 1917, and war haunts the Cornish coastal village of Zennor: ships are being sunk by U-boats, strangers are treated with suspicion, and newspapers are full of spy stories.
Into this turmoil come D. H Lawrence and his German wife, Frieda hoping to escape the war-fever that grips London. They befriend Clare Coyne, a young artist struggling to console her beloved cousin, John William, who is on leave from the trenches and suffering from shell-shock.
Yet the dark tide of gossip and innuendo means that Zennor is neither a place of recovery nor of escape . . .
A beautifully written novel with great emotional appeal, of family secrets and wartime heritage, sweeping across Cornwall, London and Warsaw.
When Lucy Tremain goes to stay with her grandparents in their house in Cornwall overlooking the sea,she finds family papers hidden in the old cottage. The papers hint at wartime secrets.
From them emerges her grandmother’s story – a hidden story of wartime courage and terrible deprivation. And for three generations of the Tremain family the papers turn their lives upside down: her grandfather Fred, the country doctor who married Martha; Anna, the difficult, determined older child who is Lucy’s mother; and Barnaby, her benevolent, indulgent uncle.
False Lights, by K J Whittaker
Napoleon has won the Battle of Waterloo and England is under French occupation…
A half-drowned girl washes up on a Cornish beach, escaping French soldiers after the murder of her black sea captain father.
An aristocratic soldier-spy, haunted by his part in the defeat at Waterloo, plans to spring the Duke of Wellington from captivity.
Together, they become enmeshed in a web of treachery and espionage stretching from London to the Scilly Isles.
Penmarric, by Susan Howatch
We all want what we cannot have, but when Mark Castallack sees his longed-for inheritance Penmarric, a gothic mansion on the bleak cliffs of Cornwall, and the mysterious, mesmerising Janna, he knows that he will make them his and nothing will stand in his way.
Yet when Mark realizes his dreams, Penmarric only brings a legacy of conflict, jealousy, infidelity and betrayal. Spanning the Victorian era to the Second World War, this gripping story of one man and his two feuding families chronicles the tempestuous clashes between warring sons, wives and mistresses, and between a house divided against itself.
The Lamorna Reach, by Joy Sheridan
The Lamorna Reach presents a Zola-esque tableau of raw, elemental life in Cornwall at the time of the Napoleonic wars.
Issy Penhalligan, the heroine, is incredibly beautiful and talented, but these qualities do not secure her a happy, comfortable life. She enters the world as a foundling, under the most brutal circumstances; she is fostered.
Issy undergoes rape and abuse, and is pressurised into a prestigious but oppressive marriage.
There is a saga of mutual obsession between her and the fascinating but totally dark and menacing Tobias Carmichael, who seduces but does not finally control her.
There are brief glimpses of euphoria and romance. Issy is a fiercely independent spirit; true to form, she disguises herself as a man and goes on a maritime expedition.
Eventually, jealousy and prejudice conspire against her. She leaves the world, but her spirit lives on.
This novel has the added bonus of multiple perspective, alternating between first and third person narration.