The Fire Child, published by S.K. Tremayne in 2016, is an odd book that I bought by mistake. A mistake, because it was billed as a thriller, but turned out to be more of a Gothic romance. Poor girl marries dark, handsome, and rich widower and moves into his crumbling and isolated ancestral mansion with his fragile young son and slightly dotty old mother. Unfortunately, the Bronte sisters and Daphne du Maurier did it first and better, and managed without the information overload about the couple’s sex life.
The new young wife waxes poetic about just about everything and at great length, in true Gothic style, but continually strikes a jarring note by the grammatical error of using “like” in place of “as if”. For example, “I am totally alone. It’s like no else exists.” Does she do this on purpose? Is it supposed to be a sign of the woman’s youth or of her low class background? But she’s supposed to be thirty, not thirteen and to have done well at school. Whatever the reason, it’s like, totally, out of keeping with the Gothic atmospherics.
The best part of the book is the setting on the coast of Cornwall. I probably had come across some facts about Cornwall, but I certainly didn’t remember, if I ever knew it, that it was so rich in minerals, especially tin and copper. I also didn’t know that there was a Cornish language, hints of which are given by the exotic and intriguing place names. A number of old photographs are included in the book. Maybe if they were larger they would do more justice to what must be spectacular scenery.