Book Title: Where the Gulls Fall Silent
Author: Lelita Baldock
Publication Date: 28th October 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 231 Pages
A small fishing village, a shunned healer, her daughter, tradition, superstition and a world set to change.
Kerensa lives with her mother, the healer Meliora, on the edge of a small fishing community on the Cornish Coast.
The townsfolk, who work the fish runs of pilchard and mackerel that make their way up the Atlantic coast, call on her mother for help with their ailments, but never for her company.
Kerensa does not know why.
Curses and superstitions whisper around her as she grows into a competent young woman, fighting for her place amongst the people of Porth Gwynn.
But what has caused the rift between her and the town?
And can their traditional way of life survive in the face of changing winds?
Where the Gulls Fall Silent is an historical fiction that explores the lives of the fishermen and women who made their living from the rough Atlantic Ocean; the hardship they faced; the secrets that divided them; and the community spirit that pulled them through.
A story of love, loss, hope and second chances.
Adult themes, mentioned sexual assault
As the sun was setting over the Cornish coast the two friends made their way slowly down the hill into Porth Gwynn. It had been a long and tiring day, helping Meraud to set up her stall and sell her fish. Kerensa had delighted in being useful, calling out the available fish and prices, helping to pack the sold produce for the customers. It was the side of work she understood, and she was good at it. Organised and efficient. And customers always smiled at her. She was careful to keep her foot well hidden.
Gerens had helped too, though he’d disappeared for a few hours after lunch. Kerensa had barely noticed.
Now, as their little town nestled in the curve of the bay came into view, he disappeared again, running off to the side of the road.
“Gerens!” Kerensa stopped and planted her fists on her hips. “What are you doing?”
Grinning, her friend came racing back from behind a length of blackberry bush. Coming to a stop before her, he pushed a bunch of Cornish daisies up to her face.
“For you!” he announced happily.
Kerensa eyed the delicate white flowers, their yellow centres glowing in the dawn light.
Frowning she looked at her friend. “Why are you giving me daisies? You can’t do anything with daisies.”
Now it was Gerens turn to frown, “Do anything with them?” he repeated, “Kez, they aren’t for potions or treatments. They just look pretty.”
“What’s the point of that?” she asked, taking the proffered posey from him.
“It’s something people like. Especially women. Father often brings pretty flowers home for mother.”
“And what does she do with them?”
Gerens shrugged, “Puts them in a pot on the table usually. Trust me Kez,” he smiled, “people like flowers on the table.”
“I don’t know… I think my mother would prefer a useful flower.”
They continued making their way down to the town through the fading light.
“What’s a useful flower then?”
Kerensa paused, thinking. “Lavender,” she finally announced. “It can be used to cover bad smells and it’s good for calming an unsettled baby, or mother for that matter.”
The two grinned at each other, enjoying her small joke. Both had known their mothers to be rather distressed from time to time.
“Put the daisies on the table, Kez. They might not smell as strong as lavender, but they will make you feel happy.”
“All right,” Kerensa agreed, but was unconvinced.
“Oh Kez! Look!” Suddenly Gerens darted forward, pointing at the bay.
There bobbing in the gentle currents sat a huge wooden vessel. Above its decks rose two tall masts, sheets of canvas sail wrapped up against wooden struts for the night.
A trader had come.
It was late in the season for such an event, but that only made it more exciting.
“Come on!” Gerens called.
Kerensa grinned and raced down the hill after her friend. The traders always brought excitement to the town. Kerensa might even be able to sneak a few pies at the trolys that Braneh was bound to throw to welcome the sailors. A shame Meliora was not home to see it. She so often missed the trade boats.
Kerensa pushed the thought aside and made her way to the foreshore.
The posey of daisies fell to the dirt behind her.
Lelita Baldock is an author of historical fiction and crime fiction. She has a passion for dark stories, with an unexpected twist.
It was during her years studying English Literature at University that Lelita discovered her love of all things reading and writing. But it would be another 15 years before she would take up the challenge and write her own novel.
Her debut novel, the historical fiction Widow's Lace, is an Amazon best-seller.
Her follow up, The Unsound Sister, saw her take a different direction in her writing, trying her hand at crime fiction and has been warmly received globally.
Her third novel, Where the Gulls Fall Silent, a traditional historical fiction set in mid-1800s Cornwall, is out now.
Lelita also runs a blog and newsletter featuring fellow authors and other creatives.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lelita-Baldock/e/B086L53M1G