Title: Cornwall Is for Lovers
Author: H.P. Medina
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 77 Pages
At a Glance: There were many little things to love in this novella. I hope you guys will give it a shot, too!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: It’s 1945, and German-born Kenneth Diederich is sick of the war, sick of his job, and sick of pining after best friend Frank Malone, who has recently re-entered his life. When the war suddenly ends, it seems like the most natural thing in the world to accept Frank’s offer of a holiday trip. The two of them, on Frank’s trusty Triumph motorcycle, heading down to the wide blue bay of Cornwall… What could go wrong?
Review: I’m so glad I took a chance on Cornwall Is for Lovers. H.P. Medina crafted a touching story about friendship, love, and courage set amid the fascinating backdrop of Bletchley Park, and the heroic efforts of the codebreakers working there to end the war. The most famous of those codebreakers was, of course, Alan Turing, whose work on breaking the Nazi’s Enigma code gave the Allies the edge they needed to ultimately win the war. The thing I loved about what Medina did, though, was how she truly made all of that the backdrop to Kenneth and Frank’s story. In the book, Kenneth worked as a codebreaker and translator alongside Turing, but the most we saw of the famous mathematician was when he was teasing Kenneth about the way Frank looked at him. The author worked the historical elements in seamlessly, but didn’t allow them to overshadow the simpler love story she was telling.
Kenneth and Frank were both so likeable. Though they were once very close childhood friends, it was sadly too easy to lose touch after their families both moved away from Dover. Brought back together by the war—Frank works as a dispatcher/messenger, bringing important messages to Bletchley Park—it is luckily just as easy to rekindle their friendship. I loved that they had a shared history and so many memories together. It made their reconnection and watching their growing friendship that much sweeter.
The romance was definitely a very slow burn. But, understandably so, as it was illegal to be gay at the time; they each had to be very guarded…couldn’t risk giving anything away unless they were one hundred percent sure how the other felt. Another thing that was realistic to the time period was the prejudice Kenneth experienced because of his German name and descent. Though his mother was Scottish, and he grew up in Dover, and later London, the fact that his father was German was enough to fuel some people’s intolerance. Being reminded of bigotry of any kind is never fun, but I appreciated how Medina handled it in the story.
We see the friendship and easygoing camaraderie between Kenneth and Frank throughout the story, but it’s after the war ends and they decide to go on a holiday together down to Cornwall that they begin to discover they aren’t alone in thinking their feelings for each other run deeper than friendship. I really liked how things unfolded for them on the trip, and Cornwall was nice once they got there, but I wish we had gotten to see more of them being happy by the sea. However, while I do think the ending came much too quickly, the story really was in their journey.
There were many little things to love in this novella. I hope you guys will give it a shot, too!
You can buy Cornwall Is for Lovers here: