Tuesday 16 January 2018

Fiction: Rescued by Maria Murphy

Poolbeg, €16.99

Rescued by Maria Murphy
Rescued by Maria Murphy

Margaret Carragher

In an interview following the launch of her debut novel For The Love of Martha last year, Maria Murphy spoke of her regard for the works of Jane Austin and Charlotte Bronte.

Certainly their influence is manifest in her latest tale.

Set in West Cork in 1889, the narrative opens on a beach on the Mizen peninsula where, following a storm, Blake Travers is washed, unconscious, ashore. One of the landed gentry whose family owns vast tracts of land in the area, Blake is rescued by Ellen Cassidy, a red-haired beauty who lives nearby and works as a healer. Though instantly attracted to him, Ellen, spooked by her grandmother's deathbed prediction of this very event, resolves to have nothing to do with Blake; and having tended his wounds, she drugs him with a concoction of herbs and abandons him in a remote village, thinking he'll never be able to track her down.

However, equally smitten, Blake finds his way back to Ellen's cottage where they soon end up in bed. But for all that she loves Blake, Ellen knows her place. With no lady-of-the-manor illusions she's quite content to remain as they are and live in the moment. But then events conspire to throw Ellen's life out of control, and all she holds dear - her home, her livelihood, her reputation - comes under threat. And could the man she loves really be a heartless boor?

Wonderfully evocative with expertly crafted characters and a compelling storyline, this book copperfastens Murphy's reputation as an up-and-coming author of note.

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