A book, a film, a Cornish beach
A few years ago we were staying in Marazion, not far from Penzance where I’d been on a writer’s panel at the Penzance Literary Festival.
During an evening walk along the beach we came across a large crowd of people and realised we’d stumbled upon a film crew in action. Before we knew it, we’d joined the extras and found ourselves cheering at a running race along the sand. It was only afterwards that we discovered the film crew were from ZDF, National German TV, filming a drama based on a Rosamunde Pilcher novel, something they did regularly in Cornwall, apparently, having made over 100 TV films of her stories over the years.
The films have led to her being incredibly popular in Germany, inspiring many compatriots to visit the UK. In fact in 2002, Pilcher and ZDF’s programme director were presented with a British Tourism Award for the contribution the programmes and the books had made to tourism in Cornwall, Devon and the U.K.
I think it was this amusing evening’s entertainment which prompted me to put Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers, which at that time I’d never read, on to my TBR list. When I did read it, I loved it.
So when I came across a copy of The Day of the Storm while browsing our village Book Share collection, I was intrigued to discover that it was this novel that ZDF chose for the first Pilcher TV film they ever made.
My review, as posted on Goodreads
After reading a number of crime fiction novels, I was looking for something from a different genre for a change and came across a New English Library edition of Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Day of the Storm on the shelves of our village Book Share Library.
Having loved The Shell Seekers, I thought I’d give it a try, even though the premise was almost identical to another novel I’d sampled a couple of days before - daughter gets a letter from abroad to say her estranged mother is dying and that she should get on a plane immediately. Having not been been inspired to read further (too much dithering, in my opinion), it could have been enough to put me off this one, but I should have known that Rosamunde Pilcher’s writing would pull me in.
I do like the way she “gets on with it”. She manages to convey character, backstory and a sense of place without any loss to the story’s momentum. By the end of Chapter Two Rebecca has flown out to see her mother for the last time, and the reader had learned something of Rebecca’s history and upbringing. The scene is now set for unravelling the mystery of her mother’s past as Rebecca heads to Pilcher’s favourite location, Porthkerris in Cornwall, in search of answers.
The Day of the Storm was written in the 1970s and isn’t a long book, at just over 200 pages. But there’s plenty of intrigue, heart and perception packed into this short Cornish tale. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it prompts me to add more of the author’s work to my TBR list.