Monday 27 November 2023

A Midwinter's Tail by Lili Hayward

Pages: 224 

Publisher: Sphere 

Released: 12th of October 2023 

It's nearly Christmas and committed Londoner, Mina Kestle, is close to signing a deal that will make her career and give her everything she's ever wanted. And then she receives a mysterious letter in the post along with an ancient key, sent by her long-estranged godfather . . .

Davy Penhallow is an artist who lives on the tiny Cornish island of Morgelyn with only his pet cat, Murr, for company. Mina hasn't seen or heard from him in decades, but now it seems he wants her to look after his cottage - and his cat - while he recovers from a stroke in hospital. Mina doesn't know why Davy has written after all these years, but she intends to do what's sort out the cottage and the cat and then get back to London in time for her career-saving meeting, before everything she's built comes crashing down around her.

But the more time Mina spends in the cottage, looking after Murr and remembering the magic of Cornish folklore, the harder it becomes for her to tear herself away. And when she discovers that a set of ruthless property developers are coming for Morgelyn, she realises she might be the only one who can stand in their way to save the island, Davy's cottage and Murr's home.

As Christmas draws ever closer and echoes of the past - her own and the island's - wash up in her memory, Mina begins to unravel a generation of secrets... and discover what it is she has truly always wanted . . .

What I Have to Say 

This was the perfect little story for Christmas. Steeped in Cornish legend, it had the warm cosy feel to it that you want from a nice Christmas read. It also had absolutely everything you get from a Christmas movie.  I do feel I read it a bit early to really get into the Christmas spirit, but I can't deny that it would be good to read on Christmas eve! 

I loved how much this book centred around the cat, Murr. And how right from the start Murr is set up as a mythical cat of the sea. Though the characters don't believe this, the book led me to believe in Murr's power right from the start and I loved the magical realism feel that it gave to the book. 

It was great for cat lovers and anyone interested in Cornish mythology or even just anyone who loves a good underdog fights against big developers story! 

4 stars 

My thanks go to Sphere and Netgalley for providing me with this gifted copy for review. 

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