Tales of Corsica series Book 1
Set in early 20th-century Corsica and at the Western Front in World War I. Based on a true story.
A poignant story of lost love and betrayal, set amid the mountains of Corsica and the turmoil of World War I.
Corsica, 1899. Life is dull in the village of Zaronza, and twenty-year-old Maria craves excitement. A young school master arrives, and her wish is granted. But Maria’s strict parents would condemn their romance, and so the lovers must meet and write to each other in secret.
When Maria’s father announces his plans to marry her off to a man she despises, her dreams crumble.
After many setbacks, Maria’s search for purpose and fulfilment takes her far from Corsica’s shores to the streets of Paris and the field hospitals of the Western Front.
A century later, Rachel travels from England to Corsica to trace her ancestors. She unearths a series of passionate love letters and a long-forgotten memoir. Page by page, Maria’s story emerges: a tale of heartache and regret, but also of courage and resolve.
Praise for The House at Zaronza
“Emotionally powerful…I could see the deep blue Mediterranean and the plunging cliffs and savour its cuisine and myrtle aperitif, but this novel is more than a travelogue. Vanessa Couchman writes with intelligence and skill.” Historical Novels Review
“An emotional, absorbing and powerful read…Vanessa Couchman has a huge potential talent, and will be an author to watch…”Discovering Diamonds, historical fiction review website
“An emotional, absorbing and powerful read…Vanessa Couchman has a huge potential talent, and will be an author to watch…” Discovering Diamonds, historical fiction review website
“What a lovely story of love and loss. Thoroughly enjoyed.” Chill with a Book
“Beautifully written, evocative of this small island. A lovely book.” Tripfiction
“…powerfully written and gripping.” French Village Diaries
“…hooked me right to the end… I would highly recommend this book.” BookMuse
“…not only an excellent historical fiction read, but also a revealing glimpse into the evolution of women’s rights…” The Good Life France
“She writes with a pleasing balance of description and dialogue, lingering on the fine details that make this sort of novel such a joy to read…” French Property News
Amazon Customers’ Reviews
“A beautiful piece of historical fiction…an absolute treat of a book.”
“This debut novel is an absolute gem.”
“I loved this book. It is beautifully told, word perfect, totally absorbing and wonderfully researched.”
“I have so enjoyed reading this story, especially poignant in a year when past catastrophes are commemorated.”
“An enchanting and compelling story…I look forward to reading more from this author.”
“Fantastically atmospheric with a great sense of place and history.”
“This is historical fiction at its best!”
“I couldn’t put the book down and loved it from beginning to end.”