Two women, separated by years, tied by secrets untold and haunted by tragedies that could not be foreseen
The Last Night by Cesca Major is her latest novel, following on from the wonderful The Silent Hours.
Published by Corvus (3rd November 2016), Cesca Major has written a fictional novel based around true events that took place in Cornwall in 1952.
Yet again Cesca Major manages to bring to the fore a time in our history that many would be unaware of…..when tragedy struck the small village of Lynmouth, a coastal region of Devon on a night in 1952.
Read on for my thoughts……
In a quiet coastal village, Irina spends her days restoring furniture, passing the time in peace and hiding away from the world. A family secret, long held and never discussed, casts a dark shadow and Irina chooses to withdraw into her work.
When an antique bureau is sent to her workshop, the owner anonymous, Irina senses a history to the object that makes her uneasy. As Irina begins to investigate the origins of the piece, she unearths the secrets it holds within…
Decades earlier in the 1950s, another young woman kept secrets. Her name was Abigail. Over the course of one summer, she fell in love, and dreamed of the future.
But Abigail could not know that a catastrophe loomed, and this event would change the course of many lives for ever…
The Last Night is the story of two women who find their true path in life but along the way face terrible tragedy.
Irina has a secret to tell. Tucked away in a small shop, restoring antique furniture, Irina hides away from the world. Irina carries a disfigurement that brings unwelcome stares from strangers. The anonymity of a back room in a shop means she doesn’t have to deal with the general public and face up to the reality of her situation. She has turned away from anyone who tries to get too close and her relationship with her mother is under a constant strain.
One day, Irina’s life is thrown into disarray. An old antique bureau arrives by special shipment for restoration. Irina, in a bid to return the bureau to it’s former glory, unlocks something that she is unable to explain and has no control over. A secret, hidden away for over 60 years, slowly unveils itself in quite a haunting manner, enticing Irina to discover the full story and finally unlock it’s secret.
1952, Abigail has to leave Bristol and travel to the Devon Coast to live with her sister Connie. Abigail leaves her home, her best friend and all that is familiar. She has lived through the Second World War and witnessed the effects it has on those closest to her but Abigail is a survivor and survive she must.
On arrival at her sister’s house, Abigail is in awe of her sister’s life.
‘Her sister lived like a movie star, her bedroom a fairy tale: paisley curtains, the hems stitched with delicate gold thread, a Windsor armchair in the corner and a careful spray of magazines fanned out on a low glass table. The four-poster bed with a canopy stood imposingly in the centre of the room…it took Abigail’s breath from her.’
Abigail has come from nothing, her mother struggling to feed and clothe them through some very tough years. But Abigail soon realises that all is not as it seems. Underneath the glamorous facade, Connie is unsettled and Abigail remains uneasy surrounded by such wealth.
Irina and Abigail, two very different women, discover truths that, although unpleasant, must be dealt with in order to move on.
Through their stories of love, upheaval and catastrophic life-changing events, both struggle to find out who they really are and what path their lives will take.
Cesca Major has written a novel that brings to our attention the lives of people that have probably been forgotten about by many. Their story, particularly that of one individual, is developed throughout the novel very beautifully and in such a poignant manner.
Cesca Major’s writing evokes a strong sense of time and place, completely encapsulating the reader and taking them on a journey to a bygone day.
When I read I book I want to be transported away from my daily routine and Cesca Major has done that again with The Last Night. A really haunting book that will bring a tingle to your spine but ultimately a warmth to your heart.
Purchase Link : The Last Night
Meet the Author:
Cesca’s first real writing success came when she was Runner Up in the 2005 annual Daily Mail Writing Competition. She has won, or been placed, in some prestigious short story competitions since then including the annual competitions for: Women and Home, Wells Festival of Literature, Grace Dieu and has also had short stories published in the Sentinel Champion and Sunday People Magazine. She has written two novels based on real events. Her debut THE SILENT HOURS was published by Atlantic Books in 2015 and THE LAST NIGHT is out in 2016.
After studying History at Bristol University Cesca went on to work as a TV Presenter for four years on various pre-recorded and live shows. She taught History for seven years and became a Housemistress at a Secondary boarding School in Berkshire.
Website : Cesca Major
Twitter : @CescaWrites