Tremarnock by Emma Burstall

Life is mostly froth and bubbles, 
Two things stand like stone 
Kindness in another's troubles
Courage in your own.

Title - Tremarnock
Author - Emma Burstall
Publication Date - May 21st 2015
Publisher - Head of Zeus 
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via author)

The blurb

Tremarnock is a classic Cornish seaside village. Houses cluster around the fishing harbour. It has a pub and a sought-after little restaurant. It is here that Liz has found sanctuary for herself and her young daughter Rosie - far away from Rosie's cheating father.

Liz works all the hours God sends. First thing in the morning she's out, cleaning offices. At night she is waitressing in the village restaurant, while friends and neighbours rally round and mind Rosie. But trouble is waiting just round the corner.

As with all villages, there are tensions, secrets - and ambitions. Emma Burstall's wonderfully engaging first novel about Tremarnock is the story of what happens when one shocking turn of events sweeps a small community.

Becca's thoughts

Before I get into my review, I'd like to say thank you to author Emma Burstall for getting in touch with me in regards to reading and reviewing her fourth novel Tremarnock, which is said to be the first in a new Cornish trilogy. I haven't read any of Burstall's previous novels, so Tremarnock was a wonderful eye-opener to a brand new author for me.

Set in the idyllic Cornish village of Tremarnock, Emma sets the scene for her novel with the most charming, fitting descriptions, from the higgledy-piggledy, multi-coloured buildings beside the sea, to the old cottages and pubs, not forgetting the colourful cast of engaging and wholly entertaining characters in the form of Tremarnock's residents. I adored the entirety of Tremarnock and Emma did such a wonderful job of bringing the setting to life for me, so much so that I found myself wanting to flee to Tremarnock myself to hideaway! It became apparent to me, almost immediately, that the people of this Cornish village were a tight-knit community and always managed to come together whenever one of them was in need. There was a real sense of friendship and protection within the village, a genuine support system, which was truly heart-warming to read about and made me fall in love with the place even more. 

Emma's characters, even her secondary characters, were strong and believable. Liz, Emma's protagonist, was a very hard-working woman who worked every hour available to her either in Tremarnock's restaurant or at her cleaning job. Despite working so hard though, there was always the constant pull of Liz's daughter Rosie back home. Since arriving in Tremarnock, the villagers had all provided Liz and Rosie with some sort of support, mainly childcare for when Liz worked. It was clear that, if Liz had the chance, she'd much prefer to be at home with her daughter who suffered from cerebral palsy, but just as in real life, there were bills to pay so Liz really had no choice in the matter. I loved Liz's outlook on life, how she managed to 'get on with it' as some might say, and was always determined that Rosie would live her life in the same way as the other children in Tremarnock. With a father who really couldn't have cared less, and a grandfather far too busy with his new wife and step-daughter, Liz was really all the family that Rosie had. If it hadn't have been for the generosity of the villagers, Liz and Rosie would have both been very lonely. Throughout the duration of this novel, life takes some devastating turns for Liz and Rosie and we're able to see how the changing circumstances effect the characters which was incredibly interesting to see. Rosie, Liz's daughter, had me smiling and tearful in equal measures throughout my reading of Tremarnock. I wanted, more than anything, for things to just go right for them two of them for once. They were such a special little unit together, helping each other through the tough times, and I thought that they deserved something good to come their way, something amazing. Emma did a fantastic job of making me truly feel for her characters. I cared about Liz and Rosie a hell of a lot and by the end of it, I was sad to say goodbye to them both, and the rest of Tremarnock's residents for that matter.

I felt that, as I reached the middle of this novel, the pace seemed to slacken just a little bit. It didn't pull me as much as it had at the beginning, but I continued due to the fact that I cared about Emma's characters so much and was desperate to see how their story would end. The plot continued to thicken and there were moments where I wondered where exactly the story was going, but Emma swooped in and grabbed hold of my attention once more. 

Do not let the beautiful cover of this novel fool you, book folk! Despite the tranquil image depicted on the cover of Tremarnock, there are a ton of issues that crop up within the novel. We're talking health-wise, relationship wise and so much more. It may appear to be a lovely little Cornish village (which it definitely is), but there is so much more hidden beneath the surface too, that you probably wouldn't expect to find.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Tremarnock by Emma Burstall and would be interested to see where she goes with the rest of the trilogy! Becca's Books is awarding Tremarnock by Emma Burstall with FOUR SCRUMMY CUPCAKES! A gorgeous Cornish setting, a blossoming romance, and the pull of community love, friendship and support, not forgetting the moments where I found myself holding my breath. It truly was a lovely read, touching upon some sensitive topics and tugging at my heart while doing so. Emma, thank you so much for getting in touch with me, I'll be keeping an eye out for book no.2 in the Tremarnock trilogy. 

~ Author Bio ~

Emma Burstall is a freelance journalist for national newspapers and magazines. She’s written four novels and lives with her husband in Kingston Upon Thames. They have three children and two fat cats, called Pablo and Dolly. Tremarnock is the first in her Cornish trilogy, set in a fictional seaside village. It’s out now as an e-book, published by Head of Zeus. Watch out for the hardback in October, paperback next Spring.

You can find Emma Burstall on Facebook | Twitter |



  1. This sounds like just my perfect read :) The trouble with having a kindle is I keep buying all these fab new books!! Luckily at 99p this was a genuine bargain hoping I enjoy it as much as you did.

    1. Hello BooksandBoardies!

      It really was a fantastic read, and the setting was just glorious too! I know exactly what you mean about having your Kindle and all of these books, it's just temptation at every turn, isn't it?! Hahaha, and 99p is SUCH a bargain! Please do let me know what you think once you've finished!

      Becca x