We all want to inherit a great old house in Cornwall, or possibly in Scotland. It’s such a romantic idea, and the extremities of the country somehow always appear more charming, even when it rains most of the time.
Paradise is my first Joanna Nadin book. It’s not at all what I expected. As I said, it is good. It’s not that I didn’t expect that. Just different. Paradise is more of a Rosamunde Pilcher for teens in the noughties, if that makes sense. I felt right at home from the start, and I could almost be Billie who inherits her grandmother’s house, only to find there are an awful lot of secrets that come with the house and the small Cornish town it’s in.
She never knew her father, and she moves from London with her Mum and her younger half-brother Finn. They have no money, and soon the house begins to affect her Mum in unexpected ways.
Chapters come from all sorts of points of view, so we see what has happened in the past and what is happening now. We see the thoughts and memories of Billie and her Mum, as well as the dead grandmother’s and a few other people’s. This means the reader can piece together what must have happened, while it takes the main characters quite a bit longer to know the whole truth.
It can be bleak in Cornwall in March. Cold. The gas bills mount up and the seaside doesn’t have its summer charms. But Billie still feels she belongs, especially after she meets Danny. He is as charming and perfect for her as Billie’s real Dad was for her Mum.
And what did the older generation get up to? Really?
This is a wonderful story. Even in the cold.