Forty year-old Nicola Rhys-Jones is a woman in hiding. Fleeing an abusive husband, she finds refuge in Boscastle, a village on the rugged coast of Cornwall, England. Andrew Stratton is an American professor of architectural theory. Shocked out of his academic bubble when his ambitious wife leaves him, he signs up for something tangible: a course in the art of stone wall-building—in Boscastle.
From the moment they meet, Nicola and Andrew are attracted to each other, but at daggers drawn. Nicola, sexy yet sarcastic, is an expert at fending off men. In Andrew, she meets her match: quick-witted, funny, yet gentle—he gives as good as he gets. When a nine year-old sprite named “Lee” befriends them both, she sees straight through their defensive armor.
What none of them know is that a ferocious storm is brewing, one that could destroy them, and the entire village they call home. And that storm is about to hit.
North (The Long Walk Home) exploits the 2004 flood of Boscastle, England, in this saggy romantic novel of two damaged people who find each other amid tragedy. Andrew Stratton and Nicola Rhys-Jones are both divorced Americans who end up in the U.K. for different reasons. Andrew, a professor of architecture, is drawn by a longstanding idea he has about livable places that takes on new importance after his wife leaves him. In Cornwall, Andrew falls in love with the place, and with Nicola, an artist who has left an abusive marriage to a wealthy Englishman and is skittish around men. The two engage in a wary flirtation, both thinking it'll go nowhere, but then the freak storm hits, and the people Andrew has come to care about are imperiled. As Andrew works to save the village, he learns about the nature and longing of his own heart. Unfortunately, the narrative moves at a glacial pace, and the author's sentimental leanings can be hard to take. The love story has some great moments, but these aren't enough to overpower the flood of treacle and lethargic storytelling.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Water, Stone, Heart
Another wonderful book by this author. Plan to read every book he’s written. I have become so invested in these characters and was happy to find he now has them involved in a murder mystery. He has the wonderful ability of describing people and places so well that you feel you are there and that you know his characters. So happy I was offered The Long Walk Home free, or I might have missed out on a wonderful reading experience and a very talented writer.
Water, Stone, Heart
An amazing love story sheltered amidst such beautifully descriptive prose, it leaves the reader longing to walk the footsteps of the characters.