A Stranger in Burracombe

Written by Lilian Harry
Review by Cas Stavert

This sugary saga, set in a Devon village, opens in February 1952 with the arrival of a young woman, Jennifer Tucker, who it later transpires is looking for her unknown father. It then follows the villagers through the course of the next six months or so, picking up where the earlier novel, The Bells of Burracombe, left off. It really doesn’t matter if you have read the first one or not as there is plenty of ‘catch up’ material throughout.

The view of village life seems somewhat rosy tinted, but perhaps that’s just my 21st-century cynicism and it really was like that.

Harry deftly weaves the various sub-plots to a satisfying, if not entirely unexpected, conclusion. I could have wished for the identity of Jennifer Tucker’s father to be a little less obvious – it was clearly signalled almost from page one, and the behaviour of one of the romantic heroines was practically guaranteed to send her swain packing, but these are minor points. This is a well-written novel that will no doubt enthral Harry’s numerous fans.