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REVIEW – The Witch from the Sea by Philippa Carr

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The Witch from the Sea Philippa Carr

The Witch from the Sea
Philippa Carr

Title: The Witch from the Sea
Author: Philippa Carr
Series: Daughters of England #3
Published: 1975
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction

From Goodreads: A reluctant bride has just begun to love her volatile husband when she rescues a mysterious woman who will bring terrible danger to them all

Linnet Pennlyon, proud daughter of a sea captain, finds herself in a vicious trap: Pregnancy has forced her to marry the cunning Squire Colum Casvellyn. Once their baby is born, she devotes herself to their son. Yet, little by little, against her will, Linnet finds herself drawn to her passionate, mercurial husband. Dark secrets lurk in their castle: The squire’s first wife died amid rumors of foul play. When a beautiful stranger washes up on the shore, Linnet suddenly finds she’s no longer in control of her family—or her life.

It falls to Linnet’s daughter, Tamsyn, to uncover the truth about a long-ago night . . . and put to rest the rumors about her beloved mother. Her discovery sets in motion an unstoppable chain of events that will reverberate for decades to come.

Dear Diary: PART I — Linnet Pennlyon, Jake and Cat’s oldest daughter. She meets Captain Fennimore Landor, a trader who has come to Lyon Court to discuss a joint venture with her father. However, any hope of a romantic connection is dashed when a chance encounter with Colum Casvellyn changes Linnet’s future forever.

PART II — Tamsyn Casvellyn, Linnet and Colum’s daughter. After the loss of her mother, she meets and forms a friendship with Fenn Landor, son of the missing Captain Fennimore Landor. The secrets of Castle Paling start to come to light.

This Day in History: The death of Queen Elizabeth I (1603) and the ascension of the Stuarts.

How history played a part: Not as much as the previous books. The Pennlyons and the Landors are involved in the East India Company, having help build up England’s commercial trading efforts. Also, there are the Puritans  — the stage is set for the next book.

Colum Casvellyn and the Landors

As I’ve pointed out in my write up for The Lion Triumphant, Jake Pennlyon is a saint when compared to Colum. Jake doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not. Colum, on the other hand, is hiding the fact that he’s as much as a pirate with blood on his hand as his father-in-law. Landed gentry of an old blood line and an impressive estate, he’s supposed to be a gentleman, though he’s just as arrogant and short-tempered as the other man. Everyone believes that Colum’s fortune comes from his land and his fishermen. However, Colum uses the dangerous coastline at the foot of his castle to his advantage — and he doesn’t care about the loss of human life, even if those men happen to be Englishmen.

Linnet finds out about this unsavory fact, but there’s not much she can do about it. I’ve wondered if she could have gone to her father for help. Would Jake have protected her and her children, or would he have insisted that she go back? I’d like to think he would have protected her because, well, she was his. Linnet wouldn’t leave her husband without her children and there was no easy way to flee — this was the 1590s, not the 1990s.

In part, that helped me reconcile myself to the fact that she was silent and stayed with Colum, though defying him in one or two small ways. Linnet still had a strong desire for him, though the budding love died out; Colum, in turn, seemed to have been genuinely faithful and content. After all, Linnet gave him the much long-for son he desired.  But her knowledge of the secret, and the arrival of Maria, slowly changed that.

As for Linnet’s first suitor, Captain Fennimore Landor (the elder) is very much an idealist. He sees that England must enter legitimate trading on the seas, if they wish to remain a dominate power. He’s drawn to Linnet and is everything good and decent. Linnet might have been very happy with him had Colum Casvellyn not crossed her path. As for his son, Fenn, we don’t get to spend much time with him; the second part of the book is shorter.  However, he’s the typical Carr beta-hero and Tamsyn will no doubt be happy with him.

Verdict:  This is the first time I’ve read this book since my sophomore/junior year of high school (late 80s).  It was interesting to read it again with the eyes of an adult.

I felt a little sad, reading Tamsyn’s part of the book.  During that time frame, we learn that Damask (Catharine’s mother) passed away, and Jake Pennlyon also dies.  He may have frustrated me, but his death still made me sad.  In a short span of time Catharine loses her daughter, her mother, and her husband.  i couldn’t remember if she also passed away, until I actually read the book.

And, finally, it’s good to be finished with the Tudor/Elizabethan Era.

Start: 8 May 2013
Finished: 20 May 2013

Challenges:
Daughters of England
E-Book Challenge
Historical Fiction
Mt. TBR

Rating:
Three Stars

Disclaimer: I purchased this book.
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